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Thursday 27th October 2016

Squinters not invited to parties

19th August 2010

A study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology suggests that from the age of six children with a squint are less likely to be invited to birthday parties than their non-squinting counterparts.


The researchers showed more than 100 children aged from 3-12 pictures of twins. One of the twins had a squint and one didn’t – and then asked the children which one they would invite to their party.

The older children in the group chose the twin without the squint, according to the research from Kantonsspital in St Gallen, Switzerland.

Some one in 20 children have a squint, also known as strabismus, where one eye turns inwards, outwards, upwards or downwards while the other eye looks forwards.

While earlier studies have revealed prejudice against children who squint, the latest research gives an indication when children become conscious of the difference.

John Lee, president of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said in the UK children were treated for the condition as soon as possible.

He added: “But there will be cases where it is better to operate later, and parents advised that we would be best leaving their happy three-year-old alone for the time being.

"What is interesting about this study is that it sets down the age at which their peers become conscious of difference. We don't need to worry too much about children not getting birthday invitations, but should still be aware that there can be very real prejudice."

Squints usually develop during the first three years of a child’s life, though can develop later.


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