Awareness of your child’s eyesight and eye health is really important as they grow up. At school, their eyesight lets them discover and learn, so being able to see properly is crucial to their overall development as they progress through school. Having regular eye tests helps your optometrist detect any vision problems your child may have quickly, so they can effectively treat them before their eyes stop developing. Children’s eye examinations with an optometrist are free on the NHS and your child’s eyes are first checked at school in their reception year as part of Children’s Vision Screening.
As we’re settled into the New Year and your children are back at school, we thought now would be a good time to talk about one of the small changes to your child’s vision screening during their time at school.
What are the changes?
If your child is between the age of 4 to 5 years, you may have already been notified at school that their vision has been checked by a school nurse. Recent changes to the Health Visitor led screening programme for Children’s Vision Screening have seen all children between ages 4 to 5 have a basic vision check that can be performed by their school nurse. If they have a concern about your child’s vision, the school nurse will advise you to take your child for a full eye examination with an accredited optometrist.
What happens during the eye test?
The full children’s eye test isn’t anything to worry about! It normally takes approximately 15 minutes and during the appointment, the optometrist will check the level of vision in each eye using either a letter chart, or a picture chart if it is easier for your child to understand.
Sometimes it is necessary to use drops to accurately confirm whether your child needs glasses. If you have been advised by the school nurse to have your child’s eyes checked, this will be done at the appointment.
Finally, a full health check of the back of the eyes will be done.
Why are children’s eye tests so important?
We have talked about the importance of children’s eye tests in the past – after the changes for children’s eye tests in 2016, we were at the forefront of the campaign in Derby. Not only do regular appointments help to keep you assured that your child’s vision is fully prepared for their learning and development at school, but it can help keep track of any problems with their vision too.
Your child’s eyes don’t reach maturity until they are around eight years old, this gives your optometrist enough time to detect any problems with their vision, so they can be treated early enough, and in some cases, corrected before their eyes are fully developed.
We have also talked about how short-sightedness in children is on the rise, so it’s always best to keep up with regular eye tests just in case.
At our practice, we stock a huge selection of children’s frames. So, if the result of your child’s eye exam means that your child needs glasses, we have plenty of options on offer, at super affordable prices.
We also have a great selection of Blinx spectacle accessories to customise their frames.
How do I book an appointment?
If you have been advised to book a full eye examination by your child’s school nurse, or if you would just like to keep up with their regular eye tests, you can call us on 01332 291010 or pop by our Littleover practice to book an appointment.