Did you know that NHS recommends all children have an eye examination by a qualified optometrist to make sure that there are no problems with their eyes or their sight? Around the age of 3 is a good time to start bringing your child to the opticians – but it’s never too late. They should be having regular eye examinations throughout their schooldays – not quite as often as check-ups at the dentist but usually yearly until the age of 7 then 2 yearly unless we need to keep a closer eye on them!
Unfortunately, it is not safe to assume that a child’s vision is normal just because they do not complain about it -most children will be unaware of a vision problem simply because they accept their own vision as normal.
Good vision promotes better learning- children need good eyesight to fulfill their potential and get the most from school, activities, learning, and friendships. Eye tests for children are free but many parents either do not know this or don’t take advantage of this as they assume that schools provide an eye test. Whilst some schools have a basic vision screening arrangement for children, and some vision checks may be carried out by health visitors, these do not replace regular full eye examinations by an optometrist.
Without good vision, children can suffer setbacks to education and the development of all their life skills. With many vision problems, a parent may not notice any issues hence the need for a professional examination.
Shockingly, 12% of children in the UK aged 5 start school with an undetected problem with their vision -there is no compulsory eye test currently in place for pre-school children. A study also showed that nearly three-quarters (74%) of optometrists had seen children in the previous year who had vision problems that could have been treated more successfully if they had been diagnosed at an earlier age.
Your child does not need to be able to read letters before their sight can be assessed. Optometrists can obtain valuable information if the child will match letters, numbers, or familiar shapes – and often they can do this even before the age of 3 – and optometrists ensure that the appointment is a fun experience!
Call us now or book online to ensure your kids are seeing properly to help them reach their academic potential – remember NHS schoolchildren’s eye examinations are FREE up to the age of 19!