I work for the charity Blind Children UK and today we have launched a campaign calling for parents to ensure their children's eyes are tested within the first year of school.
Our statistics show that 40% of parents with children under the age of five wrongly assume that eye tests will happen at nursery or school and 13% of parents are not aware that eye examinations are free for the under 16s.
Thank you for this I wish someone told me when DD was 5. We don't wear glasses so it came as a shock when a teacher rearranged her class and DD announced she couldn't read the blackboard now - age 8 or 9. An eye test showed she could only read the 3rd Line on the chart. She probably should have had glasses from age 5.
When I taught reception I always encouraged parents to get their child's eyes tested asap, but this wasn't always high on their parents list of priorities. One year, 5 of my lower achieving readers were all found to need glasses and made quick progress once this had been sorted out.
Thank you so much for the positive feedback everyone, it is greatly appreciated. We've had a great response to the campaign, especially with raising awareness, and we had lots of lovely feedback on our free book.
Also, myself having a daughter who is nearly 3 years old and starting nursery school in September, I'm thinking of having her eyes tested, so it's certainly having a very positive effect.
I had my eyes tested at school age 9 - when it was discovered that I couldn't even see the big A at the top of the chart No-one, including me, had ever realised there was a problem, although it did explain why I was so slow with board work.
I take my kids to be tested religiously every 12 months, although they seem to have inherited their dad's 20:20 vision.
Glad to see this campaign. I wear glasses, and I still nearly missed the fact that DS needed them too. I only realised I definitely needed to take him to get his eyes tested, when he put on my glasses aged 3, and announced he could see better through them. I suspect he would have really struggled at school if he hadn't had his glasses by then.
Blueberry, I think they generally like to do it at hospital for younger children. DS was seen at our hospital until he was about 6. I think, we had to get referred through the GP, although it was a while ago now. It might be worth chasing it up. Not good if Specsavers just said no, and didn't point you in the right direction!
Great to see this ... compared to dental treatment eye test are worryingly low on small children. When a mom has mentioned child not reading well, i always ask about eye tests, and usually they`ve never had one.
Nc -You can take them from tiny. An option will know how to test children of all ages. You do see Babies under 1 wearing glasses sometimes. For your 13 month they will test basic stuff like putting shapes in a hole, for 2 1/2 year old they will prob do things like what is bigger, or name the picture. Ie they will have pictures of say a duck, car, house all in different sizes and will see if they can still see the difference when small. They will make the test easier or harder depending on what child is able to do
In answer to the questions about having younger children's eyes checked, yes, children who are not yet reading can be tested. All optometrists are trained to test children's eyes although some may be more geared up than others, so it may be best to "ring ahead" and make sure before booking that eye test. An optician that stocks children's glasses is always a indicator :-)
So yes, if you haven't already done so, do have your child's eyes tested and do so regularly. And as parents we really should also get our own eyes tested too :-)
Absolutely! Luckily 5yo DS sneaked in in the last month before the local screening programme was stopped (cuts). Turns out he has severe long-sightedness and amblyopia. I'm kicking myself - I had absolutely no idea. His reading and concentration has come on in leaps and bounds since he got his glasses.