Did you know that the NHS recommends that all children undergo an eye checkup by a qualified optometrist to ensure that there are no abnormalities with their eyes or sight? It’s a good idea to start taking your child to the optometrist around the age of three, but it’s never too late. They should have regular eye examinations during their schooldays – not as frequently as dental check-ups, but normally yearly until the age of seven, then twice 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 simply because they do not complain about it; most youngsters are ignorant of a vision impairment since they regard their own vision as normal.
Good vision supports improved learning – youngsters require good vision to reach their full potential and benefit from school, activities, learning, and friendships. Eye exams for children are free, but many parents are unaware of this or do not take advantage of it because they believe that eye exams are provided by schools. While some schools provide rudimentary vision screening for youngsters, and health visitors may perform certain vision tests, these do not replace routine complete eye examinations by an optometrist.
Children can suffer difficulties in their schooling and development of all life skills if they do not have strong vision. With many vision impairments, a parent may not notice any difficulties, necessitating a professional checkup.
Surprisingly, 12% of children in the UK aged 5 begin school with an undiscovered vision issue – there is presently no mandatory eye screening for pre-school children. According to one survey, nearly three-quarters (74%) of optometrists had observed children in the previous year with vision impairments that could have been treated more successfully if they had been recognised at a younger age.
Your youngster does not need to be able to read letters in order for their sight to be evaluated. Optometrists can acquire significant information if the child matches letters, numbers, or familiar shapes – and this is often possible even before the child reaches the age of three – and optometrists make the consultation enjoyable!
Call us today or book online to ensure your children are seeing correctly to help them achieve their academic potential – remember, NHS schoolchildren’s eye examinations are FREE until the age of 19!