Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

5 Signs of Vision Problems to Look for in Young Children

People can develop problems with their sight anytime during their lives. However, the sooner a problem is diagnosed, the earlier that treatment can begin for the best chance of improving their vision. Even young kids can show signs of vision issues, and addressing the problem at an early age will help children do better in school and enjoy enhanced vision while they are still young. Here are five signs of eye problems in young kids.


Squinting the eyes can signal many things, such as bright sunshine or an effort to see in the distance. However, when you notice that kids are squinting during normal close-up observations, it may reveal an eyesight problem. Watch how often your child squints and under what circumstances. If it seems random and frequent, you should contact an eye doctor licensed in ophthalmology who can screen your child’s vision for problems.

Reading Difficulties

Preschoolers usually begin to recognize alphabet letters and read a few words. A child who has difficulty making out large-print letters and simple words may have a vision problem. If you aren’t sure about the child’s reading ability before kindergarten, starting school will usually confirm the presence of vision difficulties when the little one is unable to keep up with peers in learning to read.

Balance Issues

Young children who frequently stumble, trip, or fall might have a vision problem. Other causes may be to blame as well, but combined with other symptoms of vision issues, balance difficulties and running into objects that should be easy to see and avoid could be a sign that the child is unable to see clearly.

Headaches or Dizziness

Sometimes kids will complain about having a headache or being dizzy for any number of reasons. If the complaints persist and no other causes are discovered, it is worth asking an eye doctor whether the headache or dizziness could be related to vision problems.

Vision Problems

Perhaps the most obvious but often-overlooked sign of vision issues is that a child seems to struggle to see things clearly. He or she might not notice a neighbor next door waving a greeting, or the child may sit closer to the television than would normally be expected.

Any of these signs could indicate that a small child is unable to see clearly, and a combination of these signs makes it especially likely. Getting a vision exam will help to confirm whether a problem exists, and if so, how to treat it.

Tim Esterdahl

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