Staff from Specsavers in Crosby and Bootle recently visited Streatham Independent School to hand over radical new online vision screening software to staff and children.
Simple screening test to help teachers easily detect vision problems in children
Samantha Wildman, an Optical Assistant with Specsavers Bootle and Chris McLoughlin, optometrist director with Specsavers Crosby, delivered an assembly to the children and advised their teachers on the simple three-minute screening test.
The test can detect the most common eye problems that affect children, such as long and short sight, lazy eye and squints. The kit includes software which runs on any computer or tablet device, and test glasses to be worn by the child.
No training required
Simply operated without any training required, it can be used to detect the most common eye problems among children including short-sightedness (myopia), lazy eye (amblyopia), squint (strabismus) and astigmatism, allowing them to be corrected early on.
The innovative software has been developed by scientists at City University London following research by the College of Optometrists , which found that fewer than a third of local authorities in England are providing vision screening for children. SchoolScreener EZ®, is being provided free to schools across the UK through support from Specsavers.
Specsavers’ own research by OnePoll last November revealed that nearly four million UK children have never had their sight tested at school.
1/3 of children in the North West haven't had an eye test
The research also revealed almost a third of North West parents surveyed whose children aged 3-16 had never had an eye test (31.2%), admitted this was because they ‘had never thought about it’. Of those parents whose children wear specs, 46.21% felt that having glasses had improved their child's academic results.
Furthermore, 53.79% said they saw a positive difference in their child's enthusiasm, engagement and progression at school after they started wearing their glasses.
Regular eye tests for children are vital
Specsavers Crosby store director Chris McLoughlin said: ‘A child’s eyesight will continue to develop up to the age of eight years-old and a number of conditions can be corrected by an optician if detected before this time.
‘However, there is still a lack of general awareness among some parents and teachers about the importance of regular eye tests from the age of three or four.
'We have seen some cases where children have been misdiagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD or learning difficulties when in fact the child simply needs glasses.’