Our eldest child has just started school this week, which also means it’s the ideal time to start thinking about booking his first eye test, so I was really pleased when Vision Express got in touch to get this all set up for us. By school age they are able to recognise a lot of what they would be asked during the test, so it’s an ideal time to do it.
Since the initial newborn sight checks we haven’t had his vision checked, and I didn’t realise but actually only about 60% of schools still test children’s eye sight. Although distance vision is tested during school tests, they aren’t designed to fully investigate eye health and the many levels of long-sight aren’t actually covered.
According to a report by the Association of Optometrists, 1 in 5 children have an undetected eye problem, it can even cause misdiagnosed learning problems purely because the child can’t see what the teacher is writing on the board! Eyesight is a dominant sense when learning so it’s not surprising that not catching an eye problem could cause difficulty in learning.
There are a number of signs in a child’s behaviour that could hint at problems with their sight.
- Poor handwriting can be caused by poor hand-eye coordination.
- Frustration in the learning environment.
- Skipping words or whole lines of texts when reading or copying from the board.
- Poor level of reading.
- Frequent squinting and frowning.
- Irritated eyes and excessive rubbing of the eye region.
- Difficulty or inability to copy text from the board.
In the UK children’s sight tests are free until their are 16, and 18 if in education, and often glasses are heavily discounted should they be required. Eye tests don’t just check for vision, they are also important to ensure the health of the eyes and to pick up on any dangerous conditions or health issues, so even if you think you have brilliant vision it’s important to have a test annually.
I love how the Vision Express optometrists have made the eye test fun for children, yet still giving an in depth assessment by looking for signs of squints, lazy eyes, testing colour vision and 3D vision. Their thorough checks include looking inside the eyes (which is really cool!), checking eye muscle balance and also taking lots of different information such as personal and family history.
Henry loved looking through all the glasses on offer and of course trying on the sunglasses! They had a really good range, much better than when I was a teenager with very poor eye sight & in need of glasses!!
If you wanted to book in for your child’s first eye test with Vision Express you can do so here. They are even offering a traveling eye testing facility during National Eye Health Week all around the country in their “Vision Van” and even adults can get a voucher for a free eye sight test until the end of October. I love their catchphrase of “Look after your eyes and vision can last a lifetime”, it really is true!!
This post was written in collaboration with Vision Express, I hope you found it informative, all views are my own.