The 8 signs your child's eyesight is at risk and they need glasses revealed | The Sun

AN EYE care expert has revealed the subtle signs your children might need glasses.

Giles Edmonds, of Specsavers, said it's not uncommon for kids to mask issues they might be experiencing with their sight.

He highlighted the common behaviours that could suggest they are struggling.

If your little one can be seen squinting one eye as if searching for buried treasure, which he nicknamed "The Pirate Impressionist", this is a tell-tale sign.

Or if they’re seen tilting their head to extreme angles when reading a book, known as the "Head Tilter", this also might be a sign your child is due a trip to the optician.

It comes as research from Specsavers found 35 per cent of 1,000 parents of 6-15-year-olds polled worry their children are trying to cover up their bad sight.

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Giles Edmonds, who is the director of clinical services at the eyecare company, said: "A lot of parents assume that because their child doesn't display any signs of a vision problem, there's no need to have their eyes tested.

"However, this couldn't be further from the truth.

"Ensuring your child has regular eye examinations from an early age is incredibly important for several reasons.

“Given more than 80 per cent of our learning, cognitive and social abilities are facilitated through our sight, it's extremely important to your child's overall development.

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“Poor eyesight can cause learning and behavioural problems.

"Conditions such as squinting and amblyopia – lazy eye – can be treated more effectively if they are picked up earlier, which could make a huge difference to your child.

“Lastly, an eye test doesn’t just check vision. It can also detect other underlying health conditions.”

Parents' top causes for concern include their child sitting too close to the TV (48 per cent), holding a book too close when reading (45 per cent) and frequently complaining of headaches (42 per cent).

However, 39 per cent admit to overlooking these behavioural signs, with 40 per cent claiming they have never considered their child might need glasses.

And 21 per cent confessed they have never taken their child to the opticians.

This might be because 33 per cent admitted to prioritising other health appointments for their children, over their eye health, with doctors (66 per cent), dentists (52 per cent) and vaccinations (49 per cent) taking main priority.

But 97 per cent wish they’d spotted the tell-tale signs earlier.

The study also revealed the average age at which a parent first takes their child to the optician is six years old – despite experts recommending children have their first eye test at three and a half years old.

Of those who are yet to take their child to be checked, 63 per cent said they didn’t seem to be experiencing problems, while 32 per cent thought they had routine tests done in school.

Notably, 14 per cent identified fear as a barrier to not getting their child’s eyes tested, with 28 per cent worried about their child being picked on at school for wearing glasses.

While 52 per cent attributed it to a fear of having their eyes touched.

Overall, 21 per cent of the parents polled, via OnePoll, don’t feel very informed about the importance of eye health for children.

Singer and presenter Rochelle Humes has previously spoken about her daughter’s eyesight issues.

She said: “Alaia has been complaining about her eyes and that she wants to sit at the front of the class with her friends so she can see better, she also says that her eyes are blurry every time it's time to go to bed.

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“I honestly have been dismissing it. I thought she was stalling going to bed and wanted to sit at the front of class so she could gossip with her best friends.

"Turns out I was wrong. She needs glasses. How do I feel? Awful.”


1. The Eye Rub Maestro:

Eye rubbing is a sign of tired eyes at any age.

If you notice your child rubbing their eyes while focusing on an object, it could indicate eye strain, which could be due to an uncorrected vision problem.

2. The Reading Rebel:

If your child is reading below their expected level this could be a sign of several vision problems.

Children who have issues with their eyesight may also repeat the same line twice, lose their place or use a finger to guide their eyes.

Holding books or devices at a distance can support long-term eye health – keeping these items at a length of their knuckle to their elbow is a good guide, as holding them too close can be problematic.

3. The Eye Strain Star:

Sometimes there are physical signs such as straining eyes, closing one eye or holding objects too close or too far away.

If kids are straining to see the board at school, they may also get frustrated which can mean they are disruptive in lessons.

All these things can indicate problems with vision.

4. The Headache Hero:

Your child might experience more headaches, especially when reading.

When you look at objects or screens at close range, the muscles in and around your eyes need to work harder to focus.

Over time, these muscles can get sore and tired.

Similarly, squinting for a long period may tire the muscles around your eyes, which can lead to headaches.

5. The Head Tilter:

If your child has perfected the art of tilting their head to read a book, it's a sign they might be hiding issues with their eyesight.

6. Close Encounter Enthusiast:

If your child makes a habit of sitting too close to the TV, this could be a sign they are struggling to see the details.

Sitting too close to the screen could in turn cause additional eye strain.

7. The Pirate Impressionist:

If your little one is often seen closing one eye when completing tasks, they may be doing this to favour their stronger eye and could highlight an uncorrected vision problem.

8. The Teacher’s Pet:

Sitting at the front of each class to get a good view of the board could be a sign your child is struggling with their vision.

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