A survey by a Thurrock opticians revealed one in five parents questioned with children over the age of seven have never had their child’s eyes tested.

The research carried out by Specsavers in Lakeside Shopping Centre also showed 97.4 per cent of all parents surveyed agree eye tests are important for their children.

A word from the store director

Jay Visrolia, store director at Lakeside Specsavers, said: ‘The results of our survey were very revealing. As optical specialists, it’s encouragingly that parents overwhelming agree eye tests are important for their kids. We invite parents to start taking their children for regular eye tests from the age of four - this allows any potential issues to be detected early and treatment or corrective action to be provided pre school age.’ 

The study also looked at childhood literacy, and showed that while 98.7 percent of parents we spoke to think it is important to read to their children, almost a third (31 per cent) of parents with children under seven read to them only now and again.

Jay added: ‘There has been a huge focus in the shopping centre this year on childhood literacy, in partnership with the National Literacy Trust. We can also support children’s literacy by highlighting the role vision plays in a child’s development.’

More about children's eyecare

Eye examinations for children are paid for by the NHS up to the age of 16, or 18 if they are in full-time education. If children need glasses, the NHS contributes towards the cost. At Specsavers, children are entitled to free spectacles up to £85, from a wide range of fashionable frames, and a second pair free.

All Lakeside store information