our everyday life

Understanding Color Blindness Facts for Kids

by Kristine Tucker, studioD

Colorblindness is a mystery for many children because they don't fully understand the condition. Some may experience colorblindness themselves or have classmates who are colorblind and wonder how to deal with the limitations. By sharing facts about colorblindness with your kids, you can put their fears to rest about their own abilities, or teach them to show compassion for those who may have trouble identifying colors.

Color Deficiencies

Most colorblind people see a wide range of colors. This fact will reassure your colorblind child that she and others affected by colorblindness still experience a colorful world, even if they have difficulty with a few hues. According to the Everyday Health website, most colorblind people have difficulty distinguishing shades of red and green. Dark reds often look brown, and dull greens typically resemble shades of gray. Some colorblind individuals also have trouble distinguishing shades of blue and green. Explain to your child that it is extremely rare for individuals to see in black, white and gray only, with no ability to distinguish color.

Learning to Adapt

Colorblind people learn to adapt to their limitations by memorizing details. This fact will help your child understand how people with this condition function in a classroom, on the playground and in recreational settings with minimal difficulty. For example, red-green colorblind drivers know when to stop and go at a traffic signal by memorizing that red is on the top and green is on the bottom. Tell your child that a colorblind person can memorize the fact that grass is green or a fire engine is red, even if he can't actually see the color. Assure your child that by learning to associate colors with certain objects, colorblindness may not limit him much at all.

Diagnosing Colorblindness

Diagnosing colorblindness is a simple and painless process. Stress the fact that optometrists can painlessly assess colorblindness with simple pictures that contain hidden numbers or letters. That way, your child won't get anxious about the eye exams. According to WebMD, colorblindness tests are generally administered during well-child visits because colorblindness isn't contagious and medication isn't prescribed, two points that will reassure your child.

Who Gets Colorblindness

Colorblindness is usually inherited through genes, just like the color of your eyes or hair. If you know someone in your family is colorblind, reassure your child by saying, "You and Grandpa both share some colorblindness," or "Your Daddy has trouble with red and green too." According to Kids Health, boys are far more likely to be color blind than girls -- one in 12 boys suffers from some form of colorblindness. These facts will help your child understand that he's not alone and assure him that colorblindness isn't so strange or unusual.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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