July 1, 2024 — By Wendy Sachs

When a child looks into your face and smiles, it’s a heartwarming moment that captures their pure joy and curiosity. The child’s eyes are not just windows to their soul but also their primary means of exploring the world. Ensuring their vision health is crucial for their development. Here’s what you need to know about your child’s vision at different stages.

Early Development: Infancy to Toddlerhood


  • Newborns: Babies are born nearsighted, and their eyes continue to develop rapidly in the first few months.
  • 3 Months: By this age, babies start to focus and follow moving objects.
  • 5 Months: Babies begin to reach for toys, indicating their developing ability to see in three dimensions.
  • 9 Months: Final eye color typically emerges as melanin develops in their iris.


  • Strabismus (Crossed Eyes): Be vigilant for signs of strabismus, where the eyes may appear misaligned.
  • Eye Safety: Keep toddlers away from cleaning products, as these can be very dangerous to their eyes.

School Age: Growth and Challenges

Common Vision Issues

  • Farsightedness: Many school-age children are farsighted, but their eye muscles usually compensate without needing glasses.
  • Myopia (Nearsightedness) and Digital Eye Strain: Excessive screen time can lead to these issues. Teach children the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds to rest their eyes.
  • Colorblindness: This is more common in boys and often discovered when children start learning colors.

Adolescence: Active Lifestyles and Eye Protection

  • Sports Injuries: Activities like baseball are leading causes of eye injuries in teens. Over 90% of these injuries can be prevented with polycarbonate eye goggles.

General Eye Health: Signs to Watch For

Common Difficulties

  • Frequent Blinking or Rubbing: Often due to allergies, but sometimes stress, anxiety, or nearsightedness.
  • Spots on the Whites of the Eyes:
    • Bright Red Spot: Usually a harmless subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessel) that resolves itself.
    • Brown Spot: Typically an eye freckle, which should be checked by an ophthalmologist.
  • Discomfort or Itchiness: Could indicate conjunctivitis (pink eye) and may need medical attention.

By being observant and proactive, both parents and nannies can ensure children’s vision remains healthy, enabling them to explore and learn about the world around them with clarity and confidence.