Infants up to 1 year of age
If your baby can’t make steady eye contact by 2 or 3 months of age, or seems unable to see, you should consult your pediatrician. A constant crossing of the eyes or one eye that turns out is usually abnormal; however, most babies do occasionally cross their eyes during their first 6 months of life. Babies older than 3 months of age can usually follow or “track” an object with their eyes as it moves across their field of vision. You can test this by holding a colored object, like a toy or a ball, in front of your baby until he or she can see it. Then, slowly move the object and watch as your baby’s eyes follow. Be careful to avoid clues aided by voices or other sounds.
The presence of any of the following requires immediate consultation with your pediatrician or ophthalmologist. If the eyes become misaligned (strabismus), the child should be evaluated immediately. This may be a situation that is easily corrected with glasses or it may represent a more serious eye disorder. The presence of a white pupil suggests a number of eye disorders ranging from a cataract to a tumor of the eye. Immediate evaluation is indicated. The sudden development of pain and redness in one eye or both eyes can represent a number of different conditions ranging from simple pink eye to blinding eye problems. If this occurs, a simple visit to your pediatrician will generally result in the correct diagnosis and proper treatment.
Warning signs at any age
No matter how old your child is, if you spot any one of the following, consult your pediatrician:
Your child’s eyes flutter quickly from side-to-side or up-and-down (nystagmus).