Possible indications of a vision impairment

The following signs could be an early indication that your child may have a vision impairment.

On this page

Baby

Look out for the following signs

  • Are your baby’s eyes red, inflamed, or itchy?
  • Are the eyes excessively watery?
  • Does your baby rub their eyes excessively?
  • Are the eye lids puffy or swollen?
  • Do your baby’s eyes wobble or are they constantly in motion?
  • Is there anything unusual about how the eye looks?
  • Is the structure of your baby’s eye unusual?
  • Does one or both of your baby’s eyes appear cloudy?
  • In photographs, do your baby’s eyes look white?
  • When looking at something is your baby’s head posture unusual?
  • Does bright light cause any discomfort?
  • Does your baby fail to make eye contact?
  • Does your baby fail to smile at people?
  • Are you aware of a family member with a vision impairment?
  • Does your baby poke their eyes?

Toddler or young child

Look out for the following signs

  • Does your child walk into things, such as doorframes, coffee tables?
  • Does your child have difficulty with steps and stairs?
  • Does your child have poor hand-eye co-ordination, such as difficulty throwing, catching, kicking, tripping over or bumping into things, or are they unsteady on their feet?
  • Does your child sit close to things they wish to see, such as the television?
  • Has your child’s behaviour changed recently?
  • Does your child complain of difficulty seeing in the dark or in dim lighting?
  • Does your child complain when in bright light?
  • Does your child blink excessively, or experience dizziness or headaches?

At school

Look out for the following signs
  • Is your child reluctant to play games or join in activities?
  • Does your child have a short attention span? Are they withdrawn, or slower to develop than their peers?
  • Does your child squint, frown or peer at school work?
  • Does your child close or cover one eye when looking at their work?
  • Does your child’s head turn to follow a line across the page when reading?
  • Does your child hold their work very close, or bend over work?
  • Is there unusual head posture or does your child hold their work at an unusual angle?
  • Does your child have general reading difficulties, such as reversing letters, omitting words, losing their place, or missing out words and lines when reading? 
  • Does your child write in excessively large letters and not on the line, using a finger to keep the place on the page?
  • Does your child experience unusual fatigue after a visual task, possibly complaining that work sheets are too small or too faint?
  • Does your child work slowly? At these times, do your child’s eyes appear red?
  • Does your child complain that they can’t see the classroom board?
  • Does your child talk of restricted vision?

Need more info

To find out more about this support in your area please call or email us

0800 781 1444