Caring for your child’s sight is a priority, so it’s comforting to know that opticians offer free sight tests for children under 16 and for young people under 19 in full-time education.
When should I take them for an eye test?
Children’s eyes may be checked as standard during their early years, for example, at 72 hours and at 1 year. That said, you can take your child along to the opticians at any age. Experts recommend an eye test if there’s history of childhood eye problems in your family. Did you or any family members have a squint or lazy eye, for example?
Eye problems ranging from colour blindness to childhood cataracts can be caught by an eye test, so it’s important to book an appointment if you have any concerns about your child’s eyesight. Even if you have no particular worries regular check-up are wise.
It may be worth remembering that some regions do not offer vision screening tests, for example, at school, so experts would recommend an independent trip to your local optician at around the 4 or 5 years old mark.
Signs that your child may need an eye test include:
In older children… difficulty catching or batting balls could indicate a hand-eye coordination issue, changes to their reading habits (holding books closer or getting lost), clumsiness and rubbing their eyes.
For more information about eye tests for children, you can visit the NHS website – here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/eye-tests-in-children/