Two Year Old Son Looking Cross Eyed All of a Sudden

Updated on January 23, 2012
M.T. asks from Saint Paul, MN
12 answers

Today, as he was eating dinner, I noticed our 27 month old's eyes were crossed. He's never looked like that before. He is acting the same but when I look at his face he looks so different like he's not focusing. Its been about an hour and they are still the same.

He's got a running nose and maybe is slightly warm.
He also had a small fall from a chair yesterday - he cried for about a minute and looked fine rest of the day.

Has anyone had this before and it went away? Or is it a start of a permanent condition? Information that I looked online doesn't look good (doesn't go away, need surgery or glasses).

Thank you in advance for information and advice.

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for your comments! We called the nurseline at his pediatrician's office, and since he did have a fall the day before, she followed the "trauma" triage guideline and told us to call 911. We didn't call 911 but drove to a local children's hospital ER. He had a CT scan and everything came out fine. He was also running a fever of 102 and they found a sinus infection in the scan so we received an antibiotics for it. We were recommended to make an appt for an opthamologist and he will be going in this coming Friday.

The weird thing is, during his stay at ER (maybe 3 hours?) his eyes started looking not as crossed, although the Dr. did notice it too. Then the next day, he looked completely fine and that continues to this day. The doctor said when a child is sick or tired and he has a "weaker" eye, cross eyed look can happen. So it may have been something like that and it will be something that we will see again when he gets sick again. I'll find out more when we go go the eye doctor.

Thank you again for your comments. It helped us move forward and make a call.

Featured Answers



answers from Denver on

Fall from chair and then notice eye issues... I would call his Dr. ASAP, if not head to the ER. But that is just me....

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

Something out of the blue like this usually ISN'T crosseyes... but something neurological or "fun".


Fun is easy to rule out, and no big deal.

Brain injuries, however, have golden periods that need to be seen QUICKLY. Yesterday he fell, today his eyes are crossed. Hightail it. It might very well be nothing, but if it IS something. you don't want to wait.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

May have damaged his nerves around the eye that control eye mobility... I'd take him to the Dr.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Call your pediatrician and have them recommend the best pediatric ophthalmologist (make sure they are on your might need the second best).

Take your son in to see not just allow your pediatrician to say he will grow out of it. Do NOT go to an adult ophthalmologist or optometrist, they do not know about children's eyes (which are very different from adult eyes).

Around two years old my daughters eyes suddenly did not align. I did the Google thing and called our pediatrician who set up up with a great pediatric ophthalmologist.

It was really good I took her in as soon as we noticed the issue...she had not lost any vision yet (the brain will stop receiving signals from the misaligned eye...and basically they go "blind" in that eye...and lose all depth perception due to only seeing from one eye).

The doctor told me we would need surgery to correct it...I was so hesitant to go through surgery on my baby's eyes...but it wasn't just cosmetic, she would lose vision.

The surgery went great and her eyes are perfectly aligned. We go in to see the doctor every six months for check ups.

I do know that she may have to have a repeat of the surgery around age eight or nine as they can have a growth spurt at that time that causes them to suddenly un-align again.

Knowing everything I do now...I would not hesitate to have the surgery done again.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

When you talk with him, does he straighten his eyes out or are his eyes always crossed? If so then you need to get medical advice. Call his pediatrician or the advice line. Because of the fall you need to do this ASAP.

If he looks cross eyed some of the time and looks straight most of the time, it may be that he's just learned how to do this and is doing it for fun.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I would say that it's probably nothing but, I would contact the nurse line just to see if he should be seen. Especially with the lil fall. Good Luck & Hugs to you & your lil one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would call my pediatrician immediately and let them know that it happened after a fall.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I agree with Retta, get your son in to see a pediatric Opthamologist right away to rule anything serious out. Ours took a while to get into, so I'd try to make an appt as soon as you can. Our 3 yr old has duane's syndrome, but he was diagnosed early. I don't think most things like that start presenting out of the blue at 2, and it's probably absolutely nothing. But in the rare instance that it is, the Ped Opthamologist can diagnose and provide any necessary treatment to prevent any permanent damage (but I highly doubt this is anything). Better to just have him checked out. But--if you think this could be related to the fall, it may be best to take him to the emergency room first to rule out bleeding or head trauma.

Please let us know how your son is after the dr!

Please let us know what the dr says!



answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter had a lazy eye develop at this time and she's in glasses now. She also has issues w/ sight that were discovered then too. But you mention both eyes ... so not sure about that. I would call your insurance and see if you need a referral for a child optometrist from your ped. or if you can just choose one and go.



answers from Minneapolis on

This happened to a friend of mine--I'm not saying it's the same thing but her son has a problem with vision and his eyes started to cross as compensation. I think he's farsighted? I'd take him to get his vision tested. Her son ended up needing glasses, but lots of kids do. Not too traumatic. Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I'm really surprised no one has mentioned "lazy eye." This is a relatively common condition that appears around age 2 or 3. It can be corrected if caught early. An opthamologist prescribes eyeglasses, the child wears them.

Remember Sally from the Peanuts comic strip? She got to wear an eye-patch because that's how docs treated it in the 60s. Lazy eye tends to be hereditary, but not necessarily so. The weaker eye tends to drift when the child is tired.

I had it myself. My parents caught it at age 2 and I was out of glasses by age 8. I am very thankful for their vigilance. Glasses are no big deal today. When I was a kid, we had one option: the "Far Side" cat-eye lenses. Yuck! Toady, my nephew wears glasses and they are super-cool, with guitars on the side.



answers from Casper on

I had the exact situation with my little girl. Retta had the same response as I would. My daughter is now 18 and has no problems with her eyes after surgery when she was 3. I wouldnt go to your pediatrician, just make the appt. with the children's opthamologist. Don't worry, it will be okay!

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