22 September 2016
A child’s health and well being is, of course, a number one priority for any parent, but it seems that children’s eye tests are off the radar for some.
A whopping 25 per cent of parents admit that their children have never had an eye examination, despite being entitled to a free NHS eye test until the age of 16, or up until 18 if still in full-time education.
Shockingly, one in five children in the UK has an undetected eyesight problem – that’s around 2.5 million children! Considering that it’s free and very simple to get a children’s eye test, that’s a surprising figure. It may come as no surprise that children with problems with their vision are also more likely to have difficulty seeing things at school. So, not only is it important for their health, but their education as well.
What’s more is that a children’s eye test can also identify underlying health concerns.
In stark contrast, more than 9 out of 10 children regularly visit the dentist, which begs the question: why aren’t we placing the same importance on our children’s eye health as we do on their oral health?
In fact, it could be argued that, unlike booking a doctor or dentist appointment, arranging a kid’s eye test is considerably easier and more convenient – you can pop in whilst carrying out your weekly shop and you can even book an appointment on the same day!
Follow these simple steps to avoid eye problems in children and ensure your child’s eyes stay healthy:
- You should aim to take your child for an eye test at the age of three, especially if there is a family history of poor eyesight. They should then have follow up examinations once every two years, or as advised by their optometrist.
- Make sure they eat their five a day!
- When reading and writing, keep an eye out for lazy eye in children and/or squinting – these can be a sign that your child needs glasses and, if untreated, can significantly affect a child’s vision.
- Make sure you protect your child’s eyes in the sun – ensure that they wear sunglasses to reduce damage from UV rays.
- Make sure your child’s homework environment is bright and clear and, if using the computer for a long period of time, ensure your child takes regular breaks.
To book an NHS-funded kid’s eye test at Tesco Opticians use our store locator to find your local store and then give our call centre a call on 0345 601 3479, to book a day and time that’s convenient for you.
The College of Optometrists
Johnson Vision Care Survey 2013