The Six Unexpected Signs That Signal Your Child is Colourblind

If your kid always loses their toys, you might want to read this.
Coolpicture via Getty Images

If you’ve ever tried to work out what’s making your infant cry, you’ll understand how hard it can be to diagnose exact issues with children.

So unsurprisingly, colour blindness – whose “symptoms” your child not really understand, seeing as it’s all they’ve known – can be hard to spot in kids.

As Healthline says, “the problem (can go) undetected because they’ve learned to associate specific colors with certain objects.”

“For example,” they say, “they know that grass is green, so they call the color they see green. If symptoms are very mild, a person may not realise that they don’t see certain colors.”

Luckily, Optometric Consultant John Dreyer from has noted four signs that could mean your child is struggling with colourblindness. So, if you suspect your child might have it, keep an eye out (sorry) if:

1) They can’t stop touching (and sniffing) their food

Sure, we all know that kids love to get hands-on with their dinner (RIP that lovely linen tablecloth).

But Dreyer reckons it could be a sign of colourblindness if your child relies on smell and texture to identify their food, rather than sight alone – so make a note of it if your child is more tactile than usual with their tea.

2) Christmas decor gives them a migraine

Well, sort of.

Red/green colour blindness is the most common type of the condition, says Dreyer.

So if your child gets a headache from looking at red and green colour combos, it’s well worth checking out their eyes.

3) Their doodles leave a lot to be desired, colour-wise

No judgment – I was a black-and-white artist myself as a kid (why did nobody understand my Guernica visions?).

But Dreyer says that if the colours are inappropriately used in your kid’s drawing, they might be colourblind.

He suggests you watch out for things like “red leaves on trees instead of green, or a green post-box instead of red”.

4) In fact, they’re really not that bothered about colouring in at all

If you’re anything like me, you’d love to give up your work week responsibilities to go colour in some pictures instead.

But if your kid doesn’t share your enthusiasm, Dreyer reckons it could be because they don’t have the same ability to see colour that you do.

Dreyer says that “A resistance to/or a limited attention span when colouring or painting” can be a sure sign your child is colourblind – so make a note if they seem less than keen to whip out the Crayola.

5) They lose their toys – especially outside

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a toddler in possession of a pricey toy must be in want of a post-trip “oh NO, did we leave it in the safari gift shop?” panic.

But Dreyer says that colour can have more of a role to play in misplacing their toys than we think.

“If a toy is dropped onto green grass, a child that is colourblind may have a problem identifying it”, he says.

6) They’re freaked out by melted chocolate

Yes, I know what you’re thinking – who would hate lovely melty, gooey chocolate?

Well, Dreyer explains that if you’re a colourblind child, melted chocolate can look less ‘fondue fantasy’ and more ‘cursed fountain of gore’.

This is because “Brown and red can look the same to children that are colourblind. Therefore, they can be ‘put off’ by chocolate when it’s melted as it resembles the likes of blood.”

As Healthline says, “You should consult your doctor if you suspect you or your child is colourblind. They’ll be able to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other more serious health issues.”