Eye Care and Safety :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Eye Care and Safety

All children should have their eyes examined by a doctor by the age of 4.  However, babies and children with signs of vision problems should see a doctor as soon as the problem is noticed. If vision problems are not corrected early, children can miss out on many experiences that are important in their development.

Picture 1 - Your baby should be seen by a doctor if you notice signs of a vision problem.
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Signs of Vision Problems

Signs your child may have vision problems are:

  • Your baby doesn't look at a bright toy or rattle by 3 months of age.
  • One or both eyes turn out or turn in (Picture1). Note:  Babies don't "outgrow" crossed eyes.
  • Shutting or covering 1 eye.
  • Frequent squinting, blinking or rubbing the eyes.
  • Headaches or tiredness after doing close work.
  • Your child tilts his head up, down or to the side.

Children normally have clear eyes and only a little discharge from them after sleeping.  If your child's eyes show any of these signs, he or she may have an eye problem:

  • Red, watery eyes
  • Crusting in eyelashes
  • Burning or itching eyes
  • Cloudiness, either on the front of the eye or inside the eye
  • Frequent sties (small, painful pimples on the eyelids)

Eye Safety

  • Nearly 160,000 children in the United States suffer eye injuries every year.  Some of
  • these injuries come from unsafe toys and other objects children play with.
  • The "toy" that causes the most serious eye injuries - and even blindness - in children is the B.B. gun.
  • Darts and other pointed objects are also dangerous.
  • Parents need to teach their children good eye safety habits.  Be sure to keep very young children away from sharp or dangerous objects.  Do not let your children play with toys that are not designed for their age group.
  • As children get older, make sure they wear safety glasses in shop and auto mechanics classes.
  • If you have any questions, please call the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Eye Clinic at (614) 722-4075.

Eye Care and Safety (PDF)

HH-IV-62 12/82, Revised 5/10 Copyright 1982-2010, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000