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Protecting Your Toddler's Vision


toddler with mom playing in playground



Just like her body, your toddler's vision will develop over time as she grows. Here's some advice for protecting little eyes, and recognizing when there might be a problem.

To foster your toddler’s development of healthy vision:

  • Provide protection from harmful sun exposure by having him wear sunglasses with 99 100% UVA and UVB protection.
  • Show your toddler visual items such as mobiles, colourful images and patterns.
  • Encourage your toddler to climb, play with a ball and big puzzles, build with blocks, and look at books.
  • Do not allow your toddler to play with sharp items (darts, scissors, or any pointed object).
  • Limit the amount of TV your toddler watches to no more than one hour a day, if at all.
  • Keep your toddler at least three metres (eight to 10 feet) away from a TV screen.
  • Provide healthy food.

Vision Warnings

Vision problems often have a family history. If you know of vision problems in your family, your child's eyes should be examined by an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) by 3 years of age or earlier, especially if you notice any concerns.

Here are some signs that could indicate vision problems in your toddler:

  • Difficulty following objects or people with eyes.
  • Constantly rubbing eyes, squinting, or frowning.
  • Blinking more than usual.
  • Complaining of a sore head.
  • Closing one eye or tilting or holding the head in an unusual position when trying to look at an object.
  • Difficulty finding or picking up small objects dropped on the floor (after 12 months of age).
  • Trouble focusing or making eye contact.
  • Eyes are red or watery or have a discharge.
  • Eyes appear to be crossed or turned after six months of age (you may notice this in a photo of your toddler).

Resources & Links:
HealthLink BC: Young Children and Their Vision
Ministry of Health Early Childhood Vision Screening Program

Last Updated: August 8, 2013