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Visual Development

Children's visual functions and capacities rapidly develop in the first few months of life. It is estimated that a newborn baby’s vision is about 10 to 30 times lower than that of an adult which means things are very, very blurry!

The distance on which a baby tries to focus is about 20 to 25cm. They cannot tell the difference between two different objects very easily or move their eyes from one target to another.

Your baby will be able to focus and follow the light from a torch more accurately. At this stage, they can visualize their parent’s facial expressions and smile in response! This is also the stage, when their depth perception starts to develop.

The baby can now see their parents’ faces clearly, since they can now focus well on objects within 20 to 25cm distance. The two eyes now work together as a “team” so they can move their focus easily from one object to another.

Babies should now follow slow moving objects with ease. Babies at this age should start reaching for objects as their hand-eye-coordination continues to develop.

This is the stage where depth perception is established. This means that the baby can now tell how far away an object is from him or herself, relative to another object. Their vision has now improved remarkably; in fact, it has almost doubled in development. Their ability to see colour should also now be fully developed.

As a child should starts to crawl, this motor skill further helps to integrate the baby’s eye-hand-foot coordination. As they become more mobile, they are developing a better awareness of their overall body and learning how to coordinate their vision with body movements.

By two years of age, a child’s hand-eye coordination and depth perception should be well developed. They are highly interested in exploring their environment and will recognize familiar objects and pictures in books and can scribble with a crayon or pencil.

Unfortunately vision problems can start at an early age. It is always a great idea to have your baby’s eyes screened by an eye care professional by 6 months of age.

The Importance Of Vision

According to educational experts, 80% of learning is visual. If children cannot see well, they will have more difficulty learning. One of the primary threats to a young child’s vision has always been ‘lazy eye’ – a layperson’s term for Amblyopia. To put the size of the challenge in some context, up to 5% of all children will have some degree of amblyopia, and up to 30% of all young people will eventually develop poor vision that will require glasses.

The Importance Of Vision

Early Vision Screening

Early preventative paediatric vision screening done annually is supported and advocated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and the European Strabismological Association. Basic eye-chart screenings have been around since 1899 but have some limitations when used for large-scale children’s vision screenings. Eye chart testing can be subjective and relies on a well-trained healthcare professional as well as a very cooperative student in order to produce quick, reliable results. Eye chart screenings can miss potential issues, such as farsightedness, amblyopia factors, low-grade cases of myopia and astigmatism. In contrast, the digital, touch-less technology used in photo-screening devices is highly accurate, automatic, and provides immediate results. Photo-screening devices can help play a vital role in such programs. They are cost-effective, portable and can be used by eyecare professionals as well as volunteers alike.

The first 1000 days of a child’s life is the most rapid period of brain growth

This window is the ideal time to effectively detect and treat any possible vision problems that can cause permanent vision loss

Studies show that treatment outcomes are better for children younger than 4 years. Children younger than 4 years are also more at risk of missing early treatment as screenings take place at an older age.

Vision Screening in South Africa

Due to lack of resources, healthcare professionals and screening programs, the majority South Africa’s children have never had a simple, yet potentially life-changing, vision screening. According to the implemented school vision screenings program in South Africa, the HPCSA states that screening should be conducted at least once during pre-school period, primary school and thereafter upon entry into secondary school.

Bottom-line, children can — and should —have vision screenings. And with digital screening devices now available, it is now super easy, proven, and very effective to detect early vision challenges that need professional care in children as young as 6 months of age. Unfortunately, not only have many children not been screened due to the pandemic, but there is a dire need for mass early vision screening in South Africa.

Pediatric Vision Screening. Bottom-line, children can — and should —have vision screenings
Pediatric Vision Screening
Due to lack of resources, healthcare professionals and screening programs, the majority South Africa’s children have never had a simple, yet potentially life-changing, vision screening.
Pediatric Vision Screening

Would you like to get started on helping change children's lives?

For Donations or Sponsorships for children's visual screenings please contact us

Jenito: 084 093 6996

Carina: 071 897 1311