Color Blindness in Children - Know Causes, Tips to Test, How to Diagnose & Treatments

Urvashi Shah
3 to 7 years

Created by Urvashi Shah
Updated on May 21, 2021

Color Blindness in Children Know Causes Tips to Test How to Diagnose Treatments
Reviewed by Expert panel

Perceiving colour is something what we take for granted, including seeing the world in different hues of colour, we fail to notify how beautiful it is in its own ways. Most people know about a number of individuals having colour blindness but it comes as a shocker to parents to learn about colour blindness in children also. Yes, a handful of children too are affected with this condition. In this blog you will know more about colour blindness in children, what causes the same and its symptoms and a few tests to identify if your child has colour blindness.

First let’s begin with knowing what colour blindness by large means.

What Is Colour Blindness?

Colour blindness is also referred as colour vision deficiency in which an affected individual cannot see certain colours in the way they actually look like. This condition also affects a few children who fail to differentiate between a few shades of colour. This condition becomes more apparent when a child is presented with red, blue and green colours.

What Causes Colour Blindness?

The retina of the eye is made up of two types of cells, namely, rods and cones. The rods are responsible for detecting light while the cones detect colour. There are three types of cones in the eye, namely red, blue and green. The absence of one or more of these cones leads to colour blindness. Studies have shown that this condition is genetic.

How To Check Whether Your Child Is Colour Blind?

Here are some tips to check if your child is colour blind...

  1. Does he make wrong use of colours when painting or using colouring books? Example- Red leaves instead of green, orange stem instead of brown, etc.
  2. Does working or seeing in low light make it tough for him to differentiate between colours?
  3. Does he complain of headache or eye-pain when looking at red against green or green against red?
  4. Does colouring on coloured papers make him uncomfortable?
  5. Does he have a good night vision or sensitivity towards low light?
  6. Does he at times move his eyes unconsciously?

Types Of Colour Blindness In Toddlers And How To Test Them?

Troubles Seeing Red, Green and Blue colours

This condition is referred as Anomalous Trichromacy and occurs when there is a slight misalignment of the color-detecting cones in the retina. It’s further classified as protanomaly, deuteranomaly and tritanomaly. Reduced sensitivity to red colour results in protanomaly whereas reduced sensitivity to green cause deuteranomaly and Tritanomaly is caused when the eye has low sensitivity to the colour blue.

How To Test Your Child’s Colour Blindness?

Show your child the image with various colour patterns. Children with normal vision can easily make out streaks of green, red, and orange against blue. Children with colour blindness will struggle to find these patterns.

  1. Problem Differentiating Between Green/Red and Brown/Orange: This type of colour blindness is called Dichromacy wherein one of the colour-detecting cones is missing, thus, making the eye sensitive to certain colours. A child suffering from Dichromacy may find it hard to differentiate between green and red and may also confuse between brown and orange.
  2. Seeing Everything in Black and White: Also known as Achromatopsia or Monochromacy, this colour blindness is caused when two colour cones in the eyes are missing. A toddler suffering from this condition can see the world only in shades of black and white.

Colour Blindness Diagnosis In Children

An ophthalmologist will conduct a few tests to confirm if your child is colour blind. These tests are similar to regular eye tests. Usually, the doctor will ask your child to name the colours or to identify numerals set within the coloured dots as in the test above. It’s known as the Ishihara plate test for colour blindness in children. This will help the doctor conclude whether or not your child has colour blindness.

Treatment For Colour Blindness In Children

As of now there is no particular treatment that caters to correction of colour blindness in children. Though, doctors recommend tinted glasses and contact lenses to enhance the intensity of certain colours but they are not found to be very helpful.

In the meantime you can always correct your child whenever he fails to identify the colour and ask his teacher and fellow mates to guide him with the same. You can be patient with your child which will not embarrass him and buying more coloured crayons will encourage him and make him feel more confident.

Was the blog is your child colour blind helpful? Do you know any child who is colour blind? Share your views and feedback in the comments section below.


This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Dec 26, 2017

thanks for sharing this useful info.. parents who used to think their children are unable to recognize colours.. would find this blog really beneficial .

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| Jan 09, 2018

thank you for the information about colour blindness.

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