A Checklist for School-aged Children, Pre-teens and Teens1

A child may not tell you they have a vision problem because they may think the way they see is the way everyone sees. Vision can change frequently and without notice, so regular eye care is important.

A child who can see 20/20 can still have a vision problem. Serious developmental delays can occur when eye conditions aren’t caught early enough.


Use this checklist to have the right discussion with your child about how well they see and to help maintain their eye health during this stage in life. Children rarely speak up about problems with their vision. That’s why it’s so important to watch out for certain behaviors listed below that could indicate your child or teen has a vision problem.

  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
  • Short attention span
  • Avoiding reading and other close activities
  • Frequent headaches
  • Covering one eye
  • Fatigue
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Holding reading materials close to the face
  • An eye turning in or out
  • Seeing double
  • Losing place when reading
  • Difficulty remembering what he or she read

Did you know?
More than 12 million children, 5-15, are visually impaired due to near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism – all treatable conditions?2


  1. American Optometric Association. School-aged Vision: 6 to 18 Years of Age. [Accessed June 26, 2014]
  2. Lighthouse International. Prevalence of Vision Impairment. [Accessed June 26, 2014]