What Your Baby Can See
Have you ever watched a baby as they stare back at you and wondered what they see? Would you be surprised to learn that newborn infants see just a lot of, well, blur? That’s right, even though babies are born with the proper physical structures to see, it take months for them to learn how to use their eyes properly. Not only does each eye need to develop independently clear vision, they also need to learn to work together as a team for proper eye tracking and depth perception.
By the time a child is one month old their vision only measures to be about 20/800. Well, what does that mean? Here’s a simple way to think about it. An adult human with normal vision can achieve 20/20 vision. So, for a one month old infant looking at an object to see the same level of detail as an adult, the object would need to be 40 times larger!
Thankfully, vision development occurs rather quickly. By age six months, a child’s vision should measure about 20/100. Therefore, an object would only need to be five times larger to see the same level of detail as an adult. And by their first year, vision should be about 20/50, which is ICBC’s minimum threshold for legal driving..but maybe let’s wait another 15 years or so before tackling THAT hurdle.
Now, one more important thing to know is that the levels of detail we talked about above are referencing a child’s full potential. Sometimes, in the case where there is a large refractive error (high prescription for near-sightedness, far-sightedness, or astigmatism) a child may need glasses in order to achieve that potential. While you may notice some kids struggling to see, for example, squinting, excessively rubbing their eyes, or sitting too close to the TV, vision problems can often go undetected. This is why it is important to have your child’s eyes examined by an optometrist to rule out any limitations to proper vision development.
At Sun Valley Optometry, we want to remove any barriers to having your child’s eyes examined during the most critical periods of their development. Annual eye exams for kids up to age 18 are fully covered by their BC Services card, and we do not charge a co-pay. We have convenient hours available to fit a parent’s busy lifestyle, including late evening and weekend availability. Call our office today to schedule your child’s free, comprehensive eye exam.