All about your child's eyes - what to expect in your baby's first year and what to do about some common eye problems. There is also information about vision checks at various stages in childhood.

A child's eye

Allergic conjunctivitis, also known as eye allergies, is a common condition affecting tamariki (children). It causes redness and irritation to the eyes and eyelids.

A checklist for your baby's eye and vision development during their first year. If you have any concerns about your baby's vision, see your family doctor or Well Child service provider.

Some babies can have watery sticky eyes. Most of these babies have conjunctivitis. But some babies can have sticky eyes which don't get better. This can happen if the tear ducts become blocked.

Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is a very common condition in children. It causes red, irritated and sticky eyes. A viral or bacterial infection or allergic reaction are the most common causes of conjunctivitis.

If your child seems to be having trouble seeing clearly, they need a vision check.

Your baby's eyes should be checked soon after birth. If you have concerns about your baby's vision or hearing at any time, take your baby for an assessment.

Your child's hearing and vision will be discussed with you at various Well Child checks before your child turns 4 years of age. If your child does have a hearing or vision problem, finding it early is good for their learning and development.

Screening for some vision problems for your child should happen around 11 or 12 years of age. Your child will not have their hearing checked at school so if you are concerned about your child's hearing, it's important that you visit your family doctor.

Screen time has been linked to digital eye strain, dry eyes and short-sightedness. Lots of screen time can impact your child’s eye health. Find out more about screen time and eye health below.

If your child has trouble seeing things in the distance, they may be short-sighted. Glasses and contact lenses can correct short-sightedness.

Find out what signs of vision or eye problems to watch for in children.

A squint is when the eyes are not looking in the same direction. If untreated, this can lead to eye problems like amblyopia. If your child has a squint, it's important to start treatment at an early age.

A stye is a red lump on your child's eyelid. It's caused by a blockage of an oil gland in the eyelid.

Find out about vision checks in babies and children.