Did you know that 80% of a child's learning is done through their eyes? From birth, a child is able to perceive shapes, colours and contrasts. However, sight is the last sense to fully develop, this is because the eyes are not stimulated in the darkness of the mother's womb. As a parent, you can help the development of your child’s vision in many ways. Here are some tips to stimulate a baby's vision.
1. Shake Toys in Front of Their Eyes
To stimulate your baby's vision, move a toy in front of them to see if their eyes follow it. Choose objects with contrasting colours like black and white, to capture their attention. Shapes, such as circles and stripes, also tend to attract the attention of infants. Allowing them to follow objects with their eyes makes it possible to develop their stereoscopic vision. This type of vision allows us to see relief. When trying to catch objects, your baby will also develop hand-eye coordination. Another tip is to install a mobile over the child’s crib. Your child will be amazed watching it twirl!
2. Change the Crib’s Location
To better develop your child's vision, change the position of the crib regularly within the room. For example, if it is placed on the left side of the room, move it to the right from time to time. This allows the child to see a different perspective of the room stimulating the vision of both eyes. You could also alternate the baby’s position while you feed him from left right to left.
3. Illuminate the Room
Make sure that there is enough light in your baby’s room. This will help your baby see the surroundings and it will help them to better distinguish details and contrasts. Good lighting is essential so that your baby can adequately see around the room. This will further develop the precision of their vision and the ability to distinguish details. During the day, pull the curtains open to get as much light in as possible and in the evening, be sure to light the room sufficiently. To do this, combine several light sources, such as a ceiling light and a floor lamp, for example.
4. Avoid Using Your Tablet
According to vision professionals, children should not use a tablet or smartphone before the age of two. As you probably know, blue light has harmful effects on eye health. Digital devices that are looked at closely like tablets, require a great deal of near vision, which can tire the eyes quickly. Another problem associated with the use of these devices is the addiction they can cause, especially at a young age. Children who often use a tablet for entertainment, will often have their eyes riveted to the screen rather than on the environment around them. For the vision of a child to be stimulated, they must use their eyes in different ways, for example like observing toys, faces or the room in which they are in.
5. Look Out for Vision Abnormalities
Since much of their learning happens through the eyes, vision problems can hinder the development of a baby. The sooner a vision problem is detected, the easier it will be to correct it. By paying attention to how a child uses their eyes, you will be able to detect certain abnormalities. For example, a child who does not look at moving objects, who squints or often closes one eye may suffer from vision problems. If you suspect that your child's vision is abnormal, consult an optometrist.
To ensure that your child's eyes are healthy, optometrists recommend a first eye exam at six months old and a full exam at age three. Just by examining their eyes, the optometrist can quickly detect abnormalities and correct them so that their vision develops properly. To help prevent any eye health issues, make an appointment for your baby’s first eye exam with your optometrist at an IRIS store near you.