Facts About Eye and Vision Development in Small Children

November 5, 2018 8:41 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Adults may suspect they have a vision problem, and can make the call to visit their eye care professional. There, their eyes are checked to ensure good health and to rule out diseases. Vision tests are conducted, which either reveal excellent vision, the need for a different prescription or an all-new corrective lens prescription.

Since little kids and babies cannot clearly express that they’re having trouble with their vision, it’s up to their parents or caretakers to schedule an appointment for them to get a comprehensive eye exam in Chillicothe, OH.

Eyes are complex organs that take years to fully develop, which is why there are some unique issues and concerns related to vision in infants and toddlers. Here are some facts about eye and vision development in younger children to help you understand things better.

In the womb

Vision development begins before birth. After just six weeks in the womb, a fetus’s eyes begin to form. Close to the beginning of the second trimester, a growing baby’s eyes start to see light, though they see through fused eyelids. Exposure to light is necessary for the fetus’s vision and eye health.


Although a newborn baby may open his or her eyes soon after birth, that doesn’t mean they can see clearly. At this stage in life, a baby does not have the ability to tell two objects apart or see far away very clearly. The most interesting things to newborns will be objects less than one foot away and objects that stand out in contrast to their surroundings.

First months

At just a few months of age, a baby’s eyes are learning how to work together. Eyes are soon able to track movements, and hand-eye coordination starts developing. Learning how to crawl, walk and make other movements helps babies learn about the correlation between sight and the movement of their arms and feet, and how it all works together. As they learn this, they gain better judgment for distance and depth. At about the five-month mark, depth perception begins, and color vision eventually follows.

Between six and 12 months

Sight is a sense that has to be learned—it’s a process that takes time to fully develop. For this reason, parents, grandparents, teachers and other adults in a small child’s life play a crucial role in visual advancement. But at what age should a baby visit an eye doctor for the first time? Eye care professionals recommend bringing a child in for their first comprehensive vision assessment between the ages of six months and 12 months. An early eye exam in Chillicothe, OH helps detect issues and treatment can begin, if needed.

Signs and symptoms

Playing hand-eye coordination games and taking part in engaging activities early on in a baby’s life is a great way to nurture eye and vision development. Signs of possible vision issues in infants includes sensitivity to light, white pupils, excessive tearing, red or crusty eyelids and frequent turning of the eyes.

If you notice any of these symptoms or need to schedule an eye exam in Chillicothe, OH for an infant or toddler, reach out to Price Family Eye Care Professionals LLC today!

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