To mark the inaugural National Children’s Eye Health month (24 October – 23 November), the team from Specsavers Yate is reminding parents of the importance of regular eye tests for children, as statistics show that one in five have not had one in the past two years.

Caring for young eyes

In their early years, children’s eyes help them explore the world around them, their home and their family. As they progress through school, their eye sight plays a large part in their learning and discovery process. So much so that 80% of what they learn is presented visually. This means that being able to see is vital to your child’s overall development and growth.

Jane Morgan, store director at Specsavers Yate said: ‘Good eye health plays a very important role in a child’s overall development - be it enhancing their language and cognitive skills, or improving their social skills. If a child is suffering from visual impairment, it can create challenges to their development, which can have a long-term impact on their education on wellbeing. 

Early detection is key

Early detection is key to ensuring your children’s eye health is maintained through their younger years. Even though babies and toddlers will undergo an eyesight check as part of their routine developmental checks, it’s still very important that they have an eye test completed by a qualified optometrist, to ensure it’s a thorough examination.

‘We recommend that children have their first eye test by the age of three,’ Jane commented. ‘The detection of common sight problems amongst children, such as a lazy eye, squint or short sightedness, can be treated more effectively provided they are spotted early enough.

‘Testing children before they reach full-time education means that any problems that they may experience have been picked up and treated, setting them up for a happy and fulfilling school experience.’

Preparing your child for an eye test

An eye test is nothing for children to be nervous about, and the team will use techniques to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Parents are invited to stay with their children through the test so they don’t feel worried or intimidated.

To test children’s eyes, the store uses charts that allow them to recognise shapes or pictures. This means that they can test youngster who are unable to read.

Keeping an eye out for sight problems

Signs that your child is experiencing sight problems include sitting too close to the TV or holding a book or tablet very close, closing one eye or tilting their head to see better, frequently rubbing their eyes or complaining of headaches or tired eyes.

The family-friendly team at Specsavers in Yate is on hand seven days a week, so why not pop in to find out more or to book a sight test.

As well as the free NHS sight test, all glasses in Specsavers’ kids £64 and teens £85 ranges are free for under 16s, with a second pair from these ranges included at no extra cost. Both pairs can come with scratch-resistant treatment or tinted prescription lenses and a UV filter free in the second pair.

All Yate store information