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NOW CLOSED Do you have a child aged 3 - 12 years? Take part in a survey about children's eye tests for Specsavers - £250 John Lewis voucher to be won

(104 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 28-Mar-13 14:15:49

We've be asked by Specsavers to find out what Mumsnetters' opinions are on children's eye tests.

The survey is open to all UK Mumsnetters with at least one child aged 3 - 12 years. It doesn't matter if your child wears glasses or has never been for an eye test, we'd like to hear from all of you.

To take part in the survey please click here.

Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £250 John Lewis voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


InMySpareTime Fri 29-Mar-13 07:29:06

Done. Only school eye tests here, me includedblush (30 years since my only eye test). I figure since I can read small print far away or teeny print close up my eyes are fine.
Same for DCs.

gazzalw Fri 29-Mar-13 07:32:20

Hi my family have terribly poor eye-sight so it's always been on our radar to actively ensure that the children have regular eye-tests. They have been having them since they were in Nursery. DS started wearing glasses in Year 6 and thus far DD's eyesight is good but not sure it will hold out that much longer - we shall see.

LeonieDeSainteVire Fri 29-Mar-13 08:28:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Knittingnovice Fri 29-Mar-13 08:55:24

Interesting, I've worn glasses since I was 4(ish) but have never thought about getting the DC's eyes tested as they don't seem to have a squint (which is what I had).
Think that maybe when I go for my next checkup I will get them done too

ilovepowerhoop Fri 29-Mar-13 09:16:39

Vision Express says this:
Children can be tested at any age. It is recommended that an optometrist sees them before they start school and start learning to read. Often, vision problems can be the reason a child does not perform well at school, for example because they cannot see the board. The earlier a problem is detected the more chance there is of successful treatment. Children's eyes are fully developed by the time they are 8 years old so it is very important to have any problems detected before this.

Specsavers says this:
We advise that children should have their first eye examination at around three years old. Learning difficulties can sometimes be caused by uncorrected vision problems, so the earlier they can be detected, the better the chance of correcting them.

Sokmonsta Fri 29-Mar-13 10:44:25

I have 4 children. Dd has had glasses since she was 2. Ds doesn't need glasses and the twins have had glasses since they were 8 months. Nothing touched upon hospital referrals really and tbh I fail to see how Specsavers can offer the assessments the hospital ophthalmologists etc can. However, they have been brilliant with all three in my glasses wearing children and once we ironed out a couple of kinks re charging for the glasses, we haven't had a problem there.

I actually think there needs to be more provision for children of all ages to have free glasses, as in totally free. Dd has to have her lenses thinned as they are so thick the frames would slide down her nose. Dt2 will be the same and possibly dt1. But once they are discharged from the care of the hospital, the opticians want to charge us £30 per lens for thinning to an acceptable depth. I've got 3 kids in glasses, plus need the same myself. We don't qualify for help other than dc would get standard nhs voucher. So I'm looking at £180 just for lenses on 3 pairs of glasses. And hope to hell the kids don't damage the lens.

NuzzleandScratch Fri 29-Mar-13 12:11:20

Done. I'd honestly never even thought about this. Dd1 has just turned 3, so it seems I ought to get her eyes tested soon.

ilovepowerhoop Fri 29-Mar-13 13:06:06

i would shop around as the optician I currently use for dd (a local independent) does not charge for thinning lenses whereas the one we used before did charge

KansasCityOctopus Fri 29-Mar-13 13:26:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shelley72 Fri 29-Mar-13 13:49:21


i had DSs eyes tested at opticians just before he started school and will continue to do so yearly. DD has been under optometrist at hospital since her 8 month check as her eye looked as though it was squinting and we have a family history. DS was quite disappointed when he couldnt have glasses!

it certainly has never been suggested by a HV that a routine eye check is good, in the same way that they push dental visits every 6 months (which they also go to).

RealityQuake Fri 29-Mar-13 14:04:34


Quite timely as I took mine (well, those old enough) for an eye test last week - in which we learned that eye tests that from now on eye tests will be a one at a time thing as doing 3 + baby was a bit much and that all the kids so far seem to have my long-sightedness rather than DH's very short-sightedness. My 8 year old and 6 year old got glasses and think they're great, I had to get my 3 year old toy glasses as the opticians doesn't think she needs them just yet and she felt quite left out. Our HV only suggested it when we had concerned about my 3 year old's colour vision (and appears there is a delay in the usual eye test around here) and Vision Express did very well with her even though they said they weren't used to doing tests for kids her age.

I only got a couple school tests as a child, which only tested for problems reading the board which wasn't my issue and once I got glasses as an adult I wonder how much better I'd done without the unneeded eye strain. Eye care should be taken as seriously as dental care, an eye test can tell so many things and really improve quality of life.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 29-Mar-13 14:16:48

Ours both went when they were in school nursery - so aged 3.

Our optician has a chart with pictures on it - cup, aeroplane, tree etc so no need to know any letters or numbers.

They have both been screened in reception too.

JumpingJetFlash Fri 29-Mar-13 14:23:27

As went to a specsavers in Oxfordshire when my dd was about 4 and they had a chart with pictures like flowers or planes rather than letters which it bought was a GREAT idea for children who don't know their letters :-)

TerraNotSoFirma Fri 29-Mar-13 14:39:21

I found it odd that there was an answer option for a teacher having noticed a problem with a child's eyesight, but no option for the parent having noticed a problem.

BackforGood Fri 29-Mar-13 15:46:43

and reminded that I've 'been going to' get all 3 of my dc re tested for yonks now but haven't got round to it blush - I MUST do it this holiday.

haggisaggis Fri 29-Mar-13 15:56:50

ds was picked up by school nurse in P1 aged 4.5. dd was picked up by health visitor at 2 year check. Both are long sighted. In Scotland, eye tests are free for everyone - although for adults think they try to limit you to one every 2 years unless you notice problems before.

ByTheWay1 Fri 29-Mar-13 16:02:47

Done - am surprised to see people don't even think of getting them tested.... for us it WAS as automatic as getting them signed up with a dentist.

Ihatecobwebs Fri 29-Mar-13 16:30:11


DS has been wearing glasses since he was 3. He goes to the hospital every 4 months - once a year for the biggy with the drops, the rest just to check that everything is ok. Thankfully DS doesn't mind going (we have a tea & cake stop afterwards), and though he doesn't like the drops as "they sting" he never complains. The worst bit for him is waiting for his vision to come back & his light sensitivity to go. He is long sighted, +8.5, and now has glasses strong enough for him to pass the driving test number plate bit, but I am still surprised at where he stops on the chart and what he can't see. He can't complete the 3D test reliably either. Unfortunately for him, he wants to be a pilot when he grows up, or an astronaut sad.

We go to a local optician to get his prescription filled - and they are great. I don't have to pay extra to get his lenses thinned (just wait a few extra days), do as long as we choose the "right" frames, they are free. They do odd repairs etc without charge or fuss, eg bent frames, new nose pieces etc.

Thankfully he has never broken a pair, or scratched the lenses enough to need a replacement, but I think that can be done on the NHS as well.

QuietNinjaTardis Fri 29-Mar-13 18:31:53

Done. Am interested to know when to take my son to the opticians for the first time. He doesn't seem to have any problems but not sure when to take him? Can anyone answer? He's 3.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 29-Mar-13 19:07:33

You can take him anytime Ninja

piprabbit Fri 29-Mar-13 19:10:45

Quiet, it might be worth letting the optician know how old he is when you book the appointment. That way if you get an arse like I did you can change opticians if you need to.

IShallWearMidnight Fri 29-Mar-13 19:46:32

bit of an issue with Q10 - does wearing glasses as a child make your eyes weaker? That's an "it depends" answer, because it's all to do with what the actual problem is. Wearing glasses all the time with mild short sight can make the eyes dependent on the glasses - DD2 wears her glasses at school, but takes them off to read at home.

So although I ticked what is probably considered the wrong answer (yes to that question), I hope the ambiguity of it is taken into account in the analysis.

All my DC had their eyes tested under the age of 4 - we use an independent optician who is also an opthalmologist (sp?) and he was happy to see them even though they weren't confident with the upper case letters as my eyesight is pretty rubbish (-8.5 and -8) and we thought it was likely to be hereditary. Currently two of the three have glasses (but are nowhere near as bad as I am), and it may be that DD3 will miss out till she's much older.

ToomuchWaternotWine Fri 29-Mar-13 19:47:26

I hope they take into account that we get free eye tests for everyone on the NHS in scotland already in their survey figures. Ds and I went to the opticians last week actually. March is "maintenance month" in this house, I get my smear, dentist and eye test all done, Ds has dentist and eye test too. (We also go dentist in sept/oct together).

QuietNinjaTardis Fri 29-Mar-13 20:02:15

Thanks guys. I have to make an appointment myself so ill ask if they can do his first eye check too. thanks

gemma4d Fri 29-Mar-13 20:48:31

I have a hereditary sight problem in my family, so my kids both had sight checks by hospital opthalmology dept from a very young age.

Both are clear smile but DD1 has one weaker eye which would have developed into poor sight (I think that was the meaning of a very technical explanation!) - she had glasses at 1-2 years old, and we are hopeful that she will only need them a few more years. I don't know when it would have been spotted if she was "normal" (ie not the extra checks my kids get), but I am positive it would have been later - and so probably less effective, and harder to get her used to wearing glasses?

If they can do meaningful, useful tests on kids from 6 months old - maybe they should do this for all kids?

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