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Get your children's eyes tested

(27 Posts)
bcukPaul Tue 25-Aug-15 17:17:00


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.

If you'd like to read more on the findings, go to

We've got a lovely little book for parents and children to download and read, showing that it's not scary to go for an eye test in Olly's Eye Test

If you'd like to download a FREE guide to childhood sight care you can find it here

Thank you smile

Milliways Tue 25-Aug-15 18:33:46

Thank you for this smile
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.

Blueberry234 Tue 25-Aug-15 18:37:10

I took my Son to Specsavers they refused to do it and said it wasn't necessary as they would need to dilate his eyes etc. I wear glasses so wanted to get him checked before he starts school

Mitzi50 Tue 25-Aug-15 18:40:35

Important post.

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.

StonedGalah Tue 25-Aug-15 18:40:43

Bump smile

Dd is 4 5 and has had an eye test but l think it's an important message.

StonedGalah Tue 25-Aug-15 18:41:51

Not sure where the. went but dd is 4.5, not 45 grin

bcukPaul Mon 07-Sep-15 17:20:17

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.

bcukPaul Tue 22-Sep-15 17:09:04


I just wanted to give this a little bump during National Eye Health Week.

If anyone has any questions please do ask :-)

BarbarianMum Thu 24-Sep-15 12:59:50

Bump smile

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 shock 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.

GingerFoxInAT0phat Thu 24-Sep-15 13:05:38

I'm one of those who thought they tested eyes at school?

I'll take ds 5 this weekend after reading this.

ShadowLine Thu 24-Sep-15 13:07:49

Can the optician do an eye test if the child hasn't learnt how to read letters yet?

BarbarianMum Thu 24-Sep-15 13:09:18

They do do a basic test here in reception but:

the children are 4 and many find it difficult/boring to match shapes, so not always clear if there is an yesight problem

-it is very common for eyesight to deteriorate b/w age 5 and 10.

BarbarianMum Thu 24-Sep-15 13:10:47

Opticians do have machines that can get a basic reading without much input from the child. Not seen these used in schools, though.

Tyrannosaurus Thu 24-Sep-15 13:11:01

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!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Thu 24-Sep-15 13:23:46

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.

Nc19999992 Thu 24-Sep-15 13:27:21

When should I first take my dc to get their eyes tested? Currently 2.9 years and 13 months! Dd could easily match shapes and colours?

Artandco Thu 24-Sep-15 13:34:41

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

Artandco Thu 24-Sep-15 13:35:09

* opticians

meditrina Thu 24-Sep-15 13:37:39

As someone put it to me, you'd think a parent was remiss if they didn't take their DC for regular dental check ups (not just waiting until something seemed amiss).

Why should it be different for eyes?

bcukPaul Thu 24-Sep-15 14:56:58

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 :-)

Nc19999992 Thu 24-Sep-15 15:04:32

My friend took her 3 yo to boots for an eye test, and they said it was too young... Is there anyway to demand an eye test or are you best just to go somewhere else?

Artandco Thu 24-Sep-15 16:33:34

Small independent opticians seems the best

zoemaguire Thu 24-Sep-15 16:37:40

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.

scrivette Thu 15-Oct-15 04:34:52

Thanks for posting, I had assumed they did it at school too. I will arrange for my 4 year old to be tested.

Barbie1 Thu 15-Oct-15 05:15:07

Dd 5 has developed some kind of eye rolling tic. At first it was excessive and exaggerated blinking and now this.

She was always ahead in school but since the introduction of reading she has become nervous and shy. She struggles with the basics and reading has no longer become her favourite pass time.

When she developed the tic the doctor insisted no eye test was needed and its normal in this age group.

However reading this thread has prompted me to push for an eye test for her ASAP. So thank you op.

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