The expert: Doctor Véronique Dagrenat, paediatrician
A toddler’s eye color can change in the first few weeks of life… What are the chances of a child having blue eyes? How will they develop? update with dr Véronique Dagrenat, paediatrician.
Blue, gray, green, light brown… What is eye color?
When we talk about the color of the eyes, we actually mean the color of the iris, the muscle that surrounds the pupil, which is black. It is this iris that gives the eye its color and which vary according to the child’s genetic heritage. Babies can therefore have a similar or completely opposite eye color to their parents. Sometimes even a baby is the only one in his family who has eyes of a certain color.
Brown is the majority : It represents 80% of the world population. Then 8 to 10% of people have blue eyes, 5% hazel eyes and 2% green eyes.
When do newborns lose their blue eyes?
The fetus in the womb is protected from the sun’s rays. “For the baby at birth, the melanin in the eye isn’t activated in some way, so babies are told blue eyes or gray eyes at birth. in theThe iris then gradually darkens as the eye is exposed to daylight », explains Véronique Dagrenat. This usually happens within a few months. It is therefore estimated that a baby has assumed its final eye color by the age of three or four months.
Baby eye color is genetically determined. This means that the development of the child’s eye color is determined by the genetic inheritance of both parents. «LThe color depends on the melanin content of the iris : The more it contains, the darker the baby’s eye becomes”, analyzed by the pediatrician. A black, brown-eyed mother and father are also more likely to have brown-eyed babies People with fair skin and blue or green eyes are more likely to have green-eyed babies, blue, even gray. In very rare cases, the two eyes are not the same color, we speak of odd eyes.
Odd eyes: an exceptional case
In very rare cases, it happens in humans that the two irises have a different color. We then speak of odd eyes or heterochromia. There are two main types:
– Hereditary heterochromia is simply explained by the genetic heritage passed on by one of the parents, carriers of this peculiarity.
– “Acquired” or “accidental” heterochromiaoccurs mainly as a result of traumatic shock, glaucoma, or bleeding.
If hereditary heterochromia should not cause no worries, it is not a question of a change in eye color after the baby’s first months, which can hide a pathology. A consultation A visit to the ophthalmologist is then essentialespecially when the iris changes color after a shock.
Which parent gives eye color?
Eye color is a genetic component. So it is the father and mother who transfer their eye color to the child.
The possible combinations depend on the eye color of the parents
Statistically, two brown-eyed parents have a great chance of having a brown-eyed child, just like blue-eyed parents have a blue-eyed child, and green-eyed parents have a green-eyed child!
But if the parents have different eye colors, these are not all the same. Brown eyes generally predominate over light eyes, with the former predominating over the latter.
It is also possible that the color of the eyes “Skip a Generation” and that the blue eyes of a grandparent can be found in one of their grandchildren. « In terms of colors, the color of brown eyes is the most represented among the population. Green eyes are the rarest. As for blue eyes, they are rare, but even rarer than green eyes.” Details the specialist.
At what age is eye color permanent?
A child is often born with blue eyes. On average, he gets his final eye color at around four months of age. “The color of a baby’s eyes can change, and sometimes up to puberty, although it rarely remains.”, says the pediatrician. Regardless of their final color, it’s important to protect children’s eyes from an early age with good quality sunglasses that are molded to their face. according to dr Dagrenate requires extra caution in light-colored eyes (green, blue, or gray) due to their lower concentration of melaninshould be further protected from lighte from the sun, even with low-intensity radiation.