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How to Tell if Your Child is Colorblind

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Authored by Jody Morse in Child and Teen Health 
Published on 06-09-2009

Colorblindness is a fairly common problem that can begin in early childhood. You may be wondering how to tell if your child is colorblind. What are the symptoms of the condition? Since the symptoms may be so unclear that even adults have a hard time knowing whether or not they are colorblind, it seems a lot more challenging to diagnose children with colorblindness. However, there are a number of different signs which may indicate that your child is colorblind. Here are a few to look out for:

Risk Factors

Some children tend to be at greater risk of developing colorblindness than others due to hereditary genes. It is much more common for boys to be diagnosed as colorblind. In fact, research shows that one out of every ten boys will be affected by colorblindness. Although girls can also be colorblind, the genetic trait is more commonly passed to boys.

Difficulty with Colors

The main way to tell if your child is colorblind is to notice how easy it is for him to identify colors. Many parents are able to tell as early as kindergarten whether or not their child is colorblind. When it comes time to learn colors, your child is likely to struggle much more than other children. If your child seems to be a bit hesitant, this may be a sign that he is unable to differentiate between certain shades. Colorblind people generally have a hard time telling red from green. This relates to colors that are similar as well. For example, a colorblind child may not be able to tell purple from red, or blue from green.

Artwork and Clothing

One of the easiest ways to tell if your child is colorblind is to pay close attention to their artwork and clothing. Children who are colorblind may have a hard time picking out an outfit that matches. It is also likely that certain objects in their artwork, such as suns or ladybugs, may be given colors that are the complete opposite of what they should be. Paying attention to minor details involving color is one of the best ways to tell if your child is colorblind.

Visit the Eye Doctor

Many parents are under the assumption that all eye exams performed by schools and eye doctors consist of a colorblindness test. Color blindness tests are not standard procedures, however. While there are color blindness tests available online, it is important to keep in mind that they are not nearly as effective as a professional examination. If you suspect that your child is colorblind, the only way to find out for sure is to request a test for colorblindness from the doctor.

If your child has been diagnosed as colorblind, it’s best to avoid panicking. At the moment, there is not a known cure for colorblindness. For many people, the levels of colorblindness are also so insignificant that it does not have a major impact on their lives. Diagnosing the problem early will help prevent any confusion for your child in the future, however.

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