How to tell if a child is colour-blind

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 21, 2017
How to tell if a child is colour-blind

Daltonism is a eye disorder where a person has difficulty distinguishing colours. It usually occurs due to a defect in the retina and its origin is often hereditary. It affects more men than women. With children, it should be detected it as soon as possible and for this there are some guidelines to help you pick up on it. On we give you the following tips to find out if a child is colour-blind

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Steps to follow:

Daltonism has different degrees of involvement and it is not always easy to notice if your child has this condition. In any case, it affects the male gender more. For a girl to be colourblind, her father must be colourblind, and her mother must contain a colourblind gene, but not necessarily be colourblind herself.

The reason for this is that the colourblind gene is on the X chromosome. Since women have 2 X chromosomes, as long as they have one healthy one, they will not be colourblind. As men only have one X chromosome, inheriting a colourblind X chromosome from his mother will make him colourblind.


At school, children begin to learn colours. In this learning stage we must be alert to detect if your child tends to confuse colours or not clearly distinguish them. Ninety percent of colour-blind individuals, "have trouble distinguishing red and green". This is the first step in detecting the disorder.


You can play with your child and find out if he or she is colour-blind. For example, we can play with the colours of fruits and ask: what colour is this pear? What colour is this apple? And check if your child confuses the colours. When playing, your child will be more relaxed and we can check for colour-blindness more easily.

How to tell if a child is colour-blind - Step 3

Another way to know if a child is colour-blind is by conducting the Ishihara test. It is a known method consisting in recognizing numbers within coloured dots. There are several stages of the method that help us know the degree daltonism.

How to tell if a child is colour-blind - Step 4

If you have any suspicion that your child is colour-blind it is best to go to an eye doctor to confirm the diagnosis. A specialist will definitely determine the child's degree of colour blindness and give you guidelines for how the child can live with the condition, because there is no cure.


A complete eye exam before the age of four is recommended, even if you do not suspect colourblindness, to make sure that your child's eyes are healthy. If our child is colour-blind, you should tell teachers so they can adapt school activities and exercises to the child, and not cause unnecessary frustration.

If you want to read similar articles to How to tell if a child is colour-blind, we recommend you visit our Being a Mom & Dad category.

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