Obviously he can't read, and I'm not sure he'd get the concept of a sight test. Can they check for long/short sightedness on such a young child? Quite often he closes one eye and squints with the other when he's looking at something. I'm not sure if it's for dramatic effect (he's quite a performer!) or if he's struggling to see things clearly.
Yes, my dd had an eye test at 11months after several people pointed out that she was still quite cross eyed! I raised it with the HV who got our GP to take a look and referred us. They do something with a camera and computer to look at how the eye is focussing I think.
Lovely, thanks for all the replies... he's got an appt booked at the opticians <sob> Poor love, I hated wearing glasses when I was young but then that was such a long time ago, kids glasses were all hideous in those days <old person emoticon>
DS(3) wears glasses. He goes regularly to a local clinic for sight tests - using black outline shapes of things like a house, boot, clock, train, car, duck etc for him to call out. From there we were sent to a hospital for an indepth exam, had to have eye drops before the tests. We got his prescription, and had it filled at a child friendly local opticians (they will try to do any repairs without cost if at all possible, and cover the cost of lenses if the "voucher" does not cover them).
We now go back to the local clinic every two months to check that his brain and eyes are working together properly. (Unfortunately it looks as if he will have to have a higher prescription, if he can't see a certain line next time we go - optician gave him the benefit of the doubt last time)
As he is so young you may be better with a referral from your Health Visitor to a specialist eye unit. DD (just 4) wears glasses and is seen at the eye unit in the hospital as they have much more experience dealing with little children than a normal optician. They do the tests using pictures and toys rather than letters at this age.
We do use pictures at 3 to check visual acuity, then do something called retinoscopy which is basically wiggling a little light in front of the eye to get a prescription or see if one is needed. If a prescription is found then we'll usually bring the little one back for drops. Most optometrists would only refer a 3 year old on if they had a strabismus (squint), a very high prescription or have amblyopia (lazy eye).
Don't worry about the reaction of his peers if he does need glasses, dd1 was the envy of her friends when she started wearing them aged 3, one little girl was in floods of tears because she didn't have her own pair.
She has drops in her eyes and a light is then shone through lenses to get a prescription, this is done at the eye clinic at our local hospital though as she also has a lazy eye and a squint.
DD2 had her first eye test at around 8 months (due to dd1's issues) but thankfully doesn't need glasses, not yet anyway. She'll be seen every 6 months.
There is a good variety of children's frames that are free with the voucher, our local specsavers have a good range and have no objection to our regular visits to have dd1's glasses unbent.