Color Blindness in Children

No matter how much you review, is your child struggling to differentiate between specific colors or shades? Are they having trouble with individual school assignments or projects? If so, they may be color blind.

What is Color Blindness?

Despite the name, color blindness is not a type of blindness, but an inability to see colors accurately. It stems from problems with the color-detecting nerve cells located at the back of your eye. As a result, some children struggle to differentiate red and green, and blue and yellow. In extremely rare cases, some children may not see any color at all, only shades of grey.

What are the causes and symptoms?

Usually, color blindness is inherited and is present at birth. This is due to issues with the three cone cells in the eye. Each cone cell senses either red, green, or blue light. You see color when your cone cells sense different concentrations of these three colors. Inherited color blindness occurs when you don’t have one of these cone cells, or they do not function properly. You may not see a particular color, or you see different shades, or maybe even a different color entirely.

Symptoms of color blindness vary, but typically children with color blindness will:

  • Struggle to differentiate between specific colors or shades of colors
  • Struggle on school assignments, projects, or tests that require them to recall colors
  • Be sensitive to light
  • Be frustrated or agitated when reviewing colors

How can you help your child?

Having a good understanding of what your child can and cannot see will help you better understand and meet your child’s needs.

Ways to help your child include:

  • Making sure your child is tested for color vision problems through their comprehensive eye exam. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a new study shows kids can be tested for color blindness as soon as age four. Giving four-year-olds a test might seem a little early, but early diagnosis color blindness is crucial to their success.
  • If your child is color blind, make sure to notify their teachers and any additional staff. This will be crucial to helping them learn and succeed in school.

Ways teachers can help student with color blindness include:

  • Writing in black on the marker board and white on the chalkboard instead of using color
  • Produce black and white print outs or digital PowerPoints
  • Writing out the names of the colors if they are relevant to the simulation
  • Make sure makers, crayons, and other school supplies with colors are clearly labeled

If you believe your child may be experiencing color blindness, call ProMedica Physicians ProMedica Physicians Vision Associates at 419-578-2020 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam today!


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