My feed

to access all these features

This survey forum is for surveys run by Mumsnet. If you'd like to commission a survey of MN members email [email protected].

MNHQ have commented on this thread

Mumsnet surveys

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

103 replies

KatieBMumsnet · 28/03/2013 14:15

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,


OP posts:
gymboywalton · 28/03/2013 14:22


it's an interesting subject

i think ALL children should be given a vision check really early because the sooner a problem is picked up, the sooner it can be fixed.

We were lucky and my son's vision problem was picked up when he was 4. prior to that test we had NO idea there was anything wrong with his eyes.

If it hadn't been picked up, his life would have changed by his poor vision. he wouldn't have been able to drive a car for example.

AmandinePoulain · 28/03/2013 14:28

Done. I need to get dd1's eyes checked really, I mean I take her to the dentist twice a year automatically, it's a shame really that we don't view eye tests in the same way. She actually wants to wear glasses because her best friend does Grin.

There was no box for 'under 1' in the question about the ages of my children so I selected '1', hope that's ok!

Indith · 28/03/2013 14:44

Done. Ds1 was referred after reception school screening and had to have patch therapy and wears fairly bottle top thickness glasses. He is tested every couple of months but the survey results would show him as not being tested often because he is done at the hospital not the optician!

I think the difference between dentist an other health services are that opticians are private businesses so while free treatment is available for children it isn't something that is on our radars to do, it isn't until school screening that you think about it much unlike registering for your GP when they are born, the standard development checks that your HV gets in touch with you for, registering for local NHS dentist etc.

Northumberlandlass · 28/03/2013 15:18

Close to my heart. DS had eye test in reception of primary and that his eyesight was quite poor. I had no idea he couldn't see properly! [guilt emotion] We got referral to eye hospital, but I took him to opticians & he has been under their care ever since.

His eyesight has improved with glasses, but still nowhere near perfect. Optician is happy for DS to only wear his glasses when reading.

Tee2072 · 28/03/2013 15:30

I was actually told by an optician that they couldn't test my son's eyes until he started school. Interesting if that isn't true.

Dolallytats · 28/03/2013 15:45

Done. My son has a squint and has been wearing glasses for 3 years ,since he was 2. They are now a part of him and he thinks they are cool-which, of course, they are!!
If my mum had been listened to when I was little, my eyesight wouldn't be as bad as it is now. I am almost completely blind in one eye, and the other is weak. I've never known any different, but I do think everyone that can see out of both eyes must have double vision!!!

StealthPolarBear · 28/03/2013 15:56

Done. I have no idea about eye tests thy and assume they get done at school. I know it was in the news a little while ago about neglihent parents not getting their children's eyes tested, that is me!

StealthPolarBear · 28/03/2013 15:57

Why did we have to give their ages twice?

Areyoumadorisitme · 28/03/2013 16:04

Tee2072 - the standard optician probably can't test a child until school age but ophthalmologists in hospitals can do it from birth almost. The thing is you only end up there if there is a problem.

DS1 has had glasses since 11 weeks old, and they made a massive difference immediately. They certainly could test his eyes (proper hospital opthalmologist) but with small children it involves eye drops and can be fairly traumatic. Not something I'd do with all children if there wasn't a reason to suspect a problem.

Don't all kids get an eye check around 3.5/4 yrs now? When DS2 had his done they said not to bother getting another eye test until age 12 although we did take him to the optician before that.

Tee2072 · 28/03/2013 16:07

Interesting, areyoumadorisitme.

My son is 3.9 and I have heard nothing about an eye check, BTW.

Indith · 28/03/2013 16:19

They get screened in reception.

The optician here said that although they can see children, they should really be seen at the hospital.

Of course it is all this confusion that adds to the problem really.

But yes testing small children involves horrid drops so really in most cases it is best to wait until reception screening (which doesn't involve drops and just indicates if they may need a full test) unless there is a reason to suspect a problem.

ilovepowerhoop · 28/03/2013 16:23

my local optician tests from age 3. Dd was under hospital orthoptist care from 18 months as she had a squint snd has worn glasses since then as she is long sighted. She is now 9 and we go to the optician instead. Ds has glasses for close work but he only got them last year at the age of 6. He had an eye test at the nursery before he went to school and his eyes were ok then-he had a very mild prescription compared to dd.

BigBoobiedBertha · 28/03/2013 16:25

Done. I must admit I have been more diligent about eye tests than the dentist. This is most likely because of my own hang- ups (I hate the dentist to the point of having been phobic about it in the past) . However, DS2 had 6 monthly checks as a toddler after a HV referral because of a family history of a squint and because we weren't sure DS wasn't showing some signs too. I know all babies appear to have a bit of a squint especially when tired but DS's eyes were more obvious than that. He is fine but I was more conscious of getting both my boys' eyes tested as a result.

BigBoobiedBertha · 28/03/2013 16:30

Gosh, didn't realise there was such a difference in advice.

No school eye tests here, just advice to go to the opticians. Opticians a happy to see them from 4. I certainly wouldn't want to wait until 12 to go.

No eye drops for DS when he had hospital tests as a 13 mth old. Probably depends on the severity of the problem.

Dysgu · 28/03/2013 16:36

Both my DDs have worn glasses and patches since before they turned 2 yo. DD1 was tested as a baby as part of neurological testing but things seemed fine in the early days until she seemed to develop a squint almost overnight which got us referred straight back to hospital.

DD2 developed squints in both eyes before she was 2yo.

I would not think it 'worth it' to try to get the eye drops into a child on the off chance as it is always pretty traumatic in this house! DD1 is now 6 and is eagerly awaiting the time when she is 'big/old' enough to transfer to optician care outside of the hospital as she will not longer need the eye drops then.

I am not sure you could make eye tests compulsory. Are there any other health checks that are compulsory?

We are waiting to find out if DS, aged 14 days, will also be joining our glasses gang Grin

Tee2072 · 28/03/2013 16:46

Well, we don't have reception in NI, so he won't get screened there.

Perhaps in P1.

I asked about it because I've worn specs since I was about 6 and my husband not much older than that.

fanoftheinvisibleman · 28/03/2013 16:50

I thought ds had perfect eyesight. I guess from reading this it may have stopped but HV used to call you in for a pre school eye test and this picked up a problem. We were referred to the hospital and prescribed glasses. He wore them for 3 years and now no longer needs them. Some sight problems can be corrected for good in the under 8's with temporary glasses. I am grateful early testing picked this up.

ilovepowerhoop · 28/03/2013 16:53

I am in Scotland so dont have reception here either. My ds got a test at nursery before he started P1.

JammySplodger · 28/03/2013 17:02


Just in case anyone notices this - it would be really useful to have the reading charts in lower case letters for children who haven't started learning upper case yet. Just a thought (based on DS1's eye tests).

MirandaWest · 28/03/2013 17:02

As I'm really short sighted and only started wearing glasses when I was 6 ( pretty sure I needed them earlier) I took DC to the optician from about 3. Have been taking them every 6 months i think. They are 9 and 7 now and so far their sight is still fine :)

snowballschanceineaster · 28/03/2013 17:14

Done. My dd is 12 and has never had her eyes checked. I never really thought about it. I suppose it's because I didn't have issues when I was young. Turns out her dad did though so that'll teach me to make assumptions. If she was headachey, struggling at school or complaining about her vision, I'd undoubtedly have had her checked. Am thinking now about whether she'll go for it! Having enough trouble getting her to do the things she has to do with the old pubscence! Will have to think of a way to tackle it.

bluebump · 28/03/2013 17:43

My DS (4) went for his first eye test this week, he had a request from the hospital along with his classmates (and presumably all Reception aged children here) to come to the local hospital for a check up.

My sisters eyesight in one eye is terrible, she should have had a patch over the other eye when she was younger so i've always been keen to get DS's looked at even though I don't wear glasses.

HairyMaclary · 28/03/2013 18:00

This is timely as I took my two to specsavers today. It's routine for us, once a year in the Easter holidays but that's because my family re all significantly short sighted. DS1 was under hospital orthoptists from birth to age 5 (very prem and at high risk of further issues) when he was discharged. I took them both a year later to an optician when DS2 was in reception, this was just about old enough as he knew enough capital letters to cope. I would however have requested a hospital referral if I felt he needed anything sooner.

Tinkerisdead · 28/03/2013 18:15

This is timely for me too as i took my dd1 who is 4.4yrs to specsavers last week as she kept complaining of headaches. I really had concerns about how reliable the test would be with a 4yr old, she can read letters phonically but is shy with new adults. She could read the letters but kept turning to me for reassurance as reading is a new skill. The optician switched to pictures and colours and away she went. She sat on my knee and i could see over her shoulder so i could tell she was giving reliable answers. The only issue came when lenses 1 and 2 looked the same and she didnt dare say so as she thought it must be wrong.

As a child she was tested for retinoblastoma (petrifying) so i knew how much the hospital could test. When i rang specsavers to book dd in i thought i'd be referred to the gp. I was surprised the test was so available, easy and free! Its not something ive ever been given info on.

ouryve · 28/03/2013 18:41


Funnily enough, DS1 had his tested last weekend, at our local Specsavers and we're currently waiting on new glasses for him. Love that he managed to get some free sunglasses, too - it's been a frustration for him that he can't wear shop bought ones because he's quite short sighted and it's been too expensive to buy prescription ones when his eyes are changing so rapidly.

DH and I both wear glasses, for different reasons. DH didn't need them until puberty and i didn't get mine until I was 23 - I had them tested after struggling to read while I was revising for my finals. We've been told that DS1 is on course to end up a lot more short sighted than DH.

DS2 isn't going to be so straightforward. He has SN and is non-verbal. Given that he's approaching the age that DS1 was when he started to struggle, we're going to ask his paediatrician if he can be referred to have his tested in hospital.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.