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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

How do eye tests work for toddlers?

(10 Posts)
Flingmoo Thu 02-Feb-17 17:14:47

My 2.5 year old has started squinting and we would like to have his eyes checked. I called Boots opticians and they said I need a GP referral for under-3s. However, information on other opticians websites seems to suggest otherwise. I must admit I'm a bit confused, I don't know how opticians would test a 2 year old's vision and I don't know if I need to go through my GP or not now!

Anyone else had experience of this that can give me some pointers?

BeachysSnowyWellieBoots Thu 02-Feb-17 17:24:03

We were referred to the eye dept of the local hospital with dd1, rather than a high street optician. They use pictures on sticks or wiggly toys on the ends of sticks, rather than the traditional letters on a chart.

I got the impression that the optician she saw at the hospital was specialised in eye care for children.

CMOTDibbler Thu 02-Feb-17 17:30:38

When tiny, they use drops to dilate their pupils and then measure things. Older ones, its pictures and tell me what you see/point at the matching one on the sheet

picklemepopcorn Thu 02-Feb-17 17:32:03

Hi street optician tested my 3yr old very accurately. Looked at pictures etc.

ExpatTrailingSpouse Thu 02-Feb-17 17:32:58

my 3 year old DS just had a full eye test, in the US tho so cant' help with referral info.

they did try with the letter chart on the wall, and actually had little line drawings but he couldn't manage those because the drawings were hard to interpret! (i couldn't even tell what they were!). he could do the letters but it's hard to keep them focused at that age. most of the appointment was looking at things in books that test depth perception and colour blindness, covering one eye and then the other etc. he also looked into one of those machines where you put your chin on which he quite enjoyed. i needed to get his attention for parts where he had to look certain directions. the hardest part was actually the dilation - he refused the eye drops and we had to hold him down screaming to get them in, but was totally fine after.

we were told it's very normal for children to be longsighted at this age, and that they should grow out of it. we will have him tested again around age 5. (we went in originally because his dad has a dominant eye, 20-20 vision but one eye is actually shortsighted).

you will be better off trying to find an optician who has experience with toddlers - the one his dad went to referred DS somewhere else as they don't do children.

dementedpixie Thu 02-Feb-17 17:34:50

You should ask your gp or HV for a referral to the Orthoptist at the local hospital as they are more specialised with treating these issues. My Dd had glasses from 18 months as she squinted due to long sight.

namechangedtoday15 Thu 02-Feb-17 17:35:41

Eye hospital. Specialists dealing with children and have a number of professionals, not just your standard high street optician. Go through your GP or HV for a hospital referral. My DS was under the care of hospital from just before he was 3 (when he started wearing glasses) until 8. At that point there's little change to vision and they're happy for you to see an optician annually.

Corneliussnitch Thu 02-Feb-17 17:42:37

Op when you say squinting do you mean he is screwing his eyes or his eye is turning . If his eye is turning he definitely needs to go to your local eye hospital. I'm an orthoptist and a hospital eye clinic is the best place for testing a 2.5 year old

Flingmoo Thu 02-Feb-17 18:09:56

He is just squinting his eyes as you would if you are looking into the sun or straining to read something small. To be honest I haven't even noticed him doing it much but our childminder who has him 3 days a week pointed it out so now I'm thinking it might be good just to get him checked?

It could be that he is just doing it on purpose, for fun, maybe he's just discovered how to do it, like pulling a funny face.

picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Feb-17 07:49:21

Quickest thing to do is a high street eye test, tell them his age before you book. They will refer you on to hospital if necessary. Mine gave DD glasses, which she wore while waiting for hospital appointment. Hospital checked the prescription was right and said to keep seeing the same optician as he had done a great job.

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