Rochelle Humes admits parenting guilt over not spotting daughter's sight problem

Marie Claire Dorking
·5-min read
Rochelle Humes has admitted to feeling 'awful' for not taking her daughter's eye complaints more seriously, pictured in July, 2019. (Getty Images)
Rochelle Humes has admitted to feeling 'awful' for not taking her daughter's eye complaints more seriously, pictured in July, 2019. (Getty Images)

Rochelle Humes has opened up about the parenting guilt she feels over not taking it more seriously when her daughter complained of eye problems.

The singer and presenter, 31, made the honest confession after being told her seven-year-old daughter Alaia needs to wear glasses.

Humes says she thought her daughter was attempting to put off going to bed when she said her eyes were feeling blurry, so initially ignored her.

But having seen an optician, she has realised her daughter was telling the truth.

Sharing a picture of Alaia looking super smart in her new glasses, the mum-of-three explained in the accompanying caption that she feels “awful” for not acting sooner.

Watch: Duchess of Cambridge suffers from 'mum guilt'

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“Honest Parent Post Alert,” Humes wrote.

“My Alaia has been complaining about her eyes and that she wants to sit at the front of the class with her friends so she can see better, she also says that her eyes are blurry every time it’s time to go to bed.

“Being a mum that normally knows when my kids are trying their luck, I honestly have been dismissing it, I thought she was stalling going to bed and wanted to sit at the front of class so she could have a gossip with her best friends.

“Turns out I was wrong… she needs glasses… how do I feel? AWFUL.”

Since posting her confession, the mum has been inundated with reassuring replies from fellow parents, sharing their own stories of parenting guilt.

This Morning contributor Juliet Sears, explained that her daughter always used to complain that she couldn’t hear well.

“I just thought she was playing up or being moaney [sic] especially seeing as she had a hearing test at birth,” she wrote.

“After years of nagging I agreed to take her to get a hearing test at the age of about 10, and it turned out she was totally deaf in one ear!

“We felt terrible too! It’s hard being a parent indeed, we all laugh about it now though.”

Another parent admitted: “I’ve been squeezing my poor children’s feet into size 4 shoes that I bought in July.

“Found out last week they’re now a 6 their toes will forgive me one day.”

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Meanwhile an optician also attempted to reassure Humes she had nothing to feel awful about.

“Never feel guilty! I’m an optician and I didn’t realise my son needed specs,” they wrote.

Watch: Kate Hudson never judges others on their parenting style.

According to the NHS although serious vision problems during childhood are rare, routine eye checks are offered to newborn babies and young children to identify any problems early on.

“More often than not, your child may just need a pair of glasses to help them see clearer and reduce eye strain,” says Ali Mearza, ophthalmic consultant and co-founder of Ophthalmic Consultants of London.

“If they’re short sighted, then glasses will be required for clearer distance vision and if they’re long sighted, then glasses will reduce strain when doing near work. More serious problems are rare but outcomes are better if problems are picked up and managed as early as possible.”

Mearza adds: “If you spot any problems with your child’s eyes or vision, then you should visit an optician or GP to deal with the matter promptly before the condition exacerbates. The optician or GP will then refer you to a specialist paediatric ophthalmologist for further management as needed.”

Read more: One in five children with coronavirus develop eye symptoms, small study suggests

How to tell if your children are suffering from eye problems

Contact lens suppliers Feel Good Contacts has created a guide to some of the symptoms that parents can look out for that may signal abnormalities in a child’s eye health and should be checked out by an optician:

Difficulty reading – they may read slower than usual, lose their place whilst reading, hold books closer to their face, make numerous mistakes whilst reading text, skip words, or perhaps say them in the wrong order.

Continuously squinting to see things – They may avoid reading words on things that are far away. Or they may try to see out of the corners of their eyes or tilt their head to help focus on an object.

White or greyish white colour in the pupil – This can sometimes be a sign of cataracts, corneal ulcer, retinoblastoma (eye cancer in children) or uveitis. This will often affect your child’s visual clarity.

Eyes that are misaligned, i.e: they turn outwards, look crossed or don't focus together – Please note that it is not uncommon for a baby of up to four months of age to have crossed eyes, as they are still learning to control their eyes. Crossed eyes are usually a sign of strabismus (misaligned eyes) or amblyopia (lazy eye). This will affect the child’s visual acuity, particularly as the distance between objects and viewpoints change, for example, when doing sports and tracking a flying object such as a ball or looking from the chalk board to the paper.

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Eyes that flutter quickly from side to side or up and down – This will greatly affect a child’s hand-eye coordination and they may have difficulty writing or playing sports. They will also have trouble keeping their eyes on one particular target, moving from one object to another, or moving their eyes along a page to read writing.

Eyes that are consistently watery, excrete puss, feel itchy or look red – These are common symptoms for eye infections, which are caused by irritating substances entering the eye. You may notice that they rub their eyes frequently to relieve itchiness and irritation.

Eyes that are sensitive to light – this could be a sign of many conditions including cataracts and epilepsy. They may also frequently report that they have a headache.

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Watch: Rochelle Humes opens up about racial abuse she’s experienced.