Did Magnifying Glass Mar Child's Eyesight?

A friend and I took out charges to the library for story time. Her charge is 16 months and mine is turning 2 in two months. We were playing with toys and lulling blocks, reading, and then my charge grabbed a magnifying glass and was looking at an insert collection with it, I helped her look at it. Then my friends charge tried copying what we were doing. Well, some busy body chimed in and said 'that's wrong, don't do that, it hurts her'. Then my friend said excuse me? The busy body then said, 'She is too young and looking through that magnifying glass will hurt her eyes, not good for their vision'! My friend then just looked frazzled and upset. I told the lady she should worry about her kid, who seems to not be playing so nice with the other kids. I told her the child is exploring, nothing wrong with that.

The thing is that my friend would poke her eye into the glass from one end and the little girl would look at it from the other end. She enjoyed it but she really didn't look right into the glass, as she was busy grabbing the insect blocks. Is there anything wrong with what my friend did? Is using a magnifying glass for toddlers wrong? I mean they make baby ones for one year olds. So I don't see how it's wrong. But the nosy lady claims it hurts kids vision. My friend was upset and I gave her a pep talk and told her at least our kids weren't yelling and fussing about sharing and I believe she's wrong and would look into it. My friend thinks the lady is crazy, nosy and for peace of mind would like to know if her being scolded was right, she believes she wants to use this as a learning experience incase it's true. Otherwise, she will tell the lady the facts about toddlers using a magnifying glass, or attempting to. - Anonymous


Scttygrrl said...

The only damage would be if the child, or anyone, focused the glass directly at the sun. People don''t damage their eyes permanently by using them. Old wives tale!

BrooklynMomma said...

Not true one bit.

But yeah be careful about not looking directly into the sun with them.

Flick said...

I think most of us in our childhoods played with a magnifying glass at some point and it did no harm. Don't worry :-)

Logical Skeptic said...

There are the only two ways to damage a kid's vision with a magnifying glass: using it to look into the sun, and poking themselves or each other in the eye with the handle :-)

I'm sure that woman meant well, but how annoying for you!

I could use 100 bucks said...

I've never heard of that. However, there are little 1 and 2 year-olds wearing glasses, which in essence, are a pair of miniature magnifying (or demagnifying) glasses. So, I don't think it does not harm unless you use them incorrectly as other posters have stated.

T said...

Oh god, I HATE busy bodies like that! Some moms feel the need to tell everyone else what they are doing wrong. I'm glad you told her to mind her own business.

That sounds like a total load of crap anyway. Kids play with magnifying glasses all the time. As long as she isn't using it to look at everything, all day long,or at the sun, I don't see how it could hurt her.

Bethany said...

As others have said the lady meant well but she was misinformed.

I don't think it would be a good idea for your friend to go out of the way and correct her.

If the lady mentions it to your friend again your friend can kindly tell her that after her previous comments she wanted to be sure she was not harming her charge and did a little research and found that it is not dangerous.