Babies are born with the ability to see, although their vision may not be completely focused. Their eyesight develops gradually over the next few months.
By the time of their first review (at around 14 days), you’ll have noticed whether or not your baby’s eyes can follow your face or a colourful object held about 20cm (eight inches) away. If they can’t, mention it at the review.
At birth, a baby’s eyes may roll away from each other occasionally, which is normal. If your baby squints often or all the time, tell your health visitor. They can refer you to an orthoptist or ophthalmologist who specialises in children’s eyes.
It’s important that any problems with your child’s eyesight are identified as soon as possible as they can affect social and educational development.
Children may not realise that there’s anything wrong with their sight. Eye examinations are available free of charge to all children under 16 and they don’t have to be able to read to have one. Ask your health visitor or school nurse for further advice or book an appointment with an optometrist directly.