One in five children has an undetected problem with their vision and risks being at a disadvantage in the classroom.*
Often mistaken for learning difficulties
According to Hillsborough's Specsavers, if a child’s eyesight is not in perfect condition it can often be mistaken for learning difficulties. Around 80 per cent of everything a child learns is through their vision, so even a minor problem with a child’s sight can mean they suffer huge setbacks in their development at school.
Gary Bamford, store director at the Hillsborough store, said: ‘Good eyesight is one of the most important tools in a child’s learning so regular eye examinations are essential. We must remember that children have no way of knowing if what they can see is different from what others can see.'
Undetected problems can damage a child
‘Undetected problems can damage a child’s confidence and performance in reading and sports that require hand-eye co-ordination. If left untreated, conditions such as lazy eyes and squints can become permanent. The summer holidays are the perfect time to get your children’s eyes tested before the new school term begins.’
First eye examination at the age of three
Specsavers recommends that children should have their first eye examination at around three years old. The test is designed to be friendly and fun, and for children who are not reading yet, there are special charts, shapes, and picture books that the optician can use instead.
A number of tell-tale signs
For parents concerned about their child’s eyesight, there are a number of tell-tale signs to look out for, such as: is your child sitting too close to the TV; do they rub their eyes a lot; are they clumsy; do they squint? Specsavers suggests asking them the following simple questions:
• Can you see what’s on the board clearly when you sit at the back of the classroom?
• Do you get headaches?
• Is your handwriting messier than most of your friends?
• Do you often lose your place or get words the wrong way round while reading?
• Do you find it difficult to see things close to your face, when you are drawing or making things?
If your child answers ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it could be time to get their eyes examined.
Free eye test if under 19
Children and young people under 19 in full-time education are entitled to a free Specsavers eye test through the NHS and a voucher towards the cost of glasses or lenses.