Key Eyesight Milestones in Children

As a child grows, everything about them changes faster than you can say Ooo Eyesey!

So how do you know when there is a problem, if your little toddler can’t say to you “Mummy I can’t pick up that toy because my 3-D vision is not good” or “Daddy I can’t watch you as you walk out of the room because my right eye doesn’t move as well as my left eye”?

Well, there are some key eyesight milestones that parents should be aware of as your Little Ones grow up to be not so Little Ones.



  • Eyes are more sensitive to bright colours
  • Can see colour at around 3 months
  • Are able to focus after a few months

Look out for:

Your baby’s eyes should be able to follow you around a room after a few months. You can do a quick check – cover each eye in turn, if your baby doesn’t like having one eye covered more than the other one there may be a problem


6 Months +

  • Eyes should be fully developed
  • Can judge depth and 3D shapes
  • In rare cases may need glasses

Look out for:

A white reflection glimmer in the eyes (you might see this in photos) – might indicate a problem. Slower in reaching and grabbing for things than you would expect by this age – may indicate a problem


4 Years +

  • At 4 to 5, vision screening should happen at school. If this hasn’t happened by the end of your child’s first year at school, and you have concerns about their eyes, take them to your optometrist
  • Treatment for a lazy eye is most successful before the age of 7
  • 6 to 7 is ones of the key age groups for short sight to develop

Look out for:

A squint or lazy eye often runs in families, and may not be obvious


The Growth Spurt

  • Eyes continue to grow and develop – so monitor your child’s vision on an ongoing basis
  • Complaints of headaches or tired eyes after school might indicate an eye problem
  • 1 in 5 UK teenagers are short-sighted; 12 to 13 is a key age for it to develop

Look out for:

Short-sighted children – especially sporty ones – might benefit from contact lenses but they must be kept clean!


The information here is very basic… there is of course so much more to watch out for, which is why the NHS cover the cost of eye examinations for all children up until the age of 18.

We can see children of any age at Eyesey Eyecare, so if you are scheduling in your annual eye examination, perhaps think about booking you child in at the same time… if there are any visual problems picked up, the chances are there are more things we can do about it if picked up sooner.

#newmums #childdevelopment #NHS #baby

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