Children’s eyecare is something that we are passionate about at Care Optics. We work closely with UK Optical Confederation’s Children’s Eyecare Initiative. This group aims to improve awareness of the need for ALL CHILDREN to have their eyes checked, among parents, teachers and other health care professions. The group also supports the optical profession to ensure that standards of eyecare for children are second to none.
At Care Optics, we offer eye examinations to children of all ages, fully funded by the NHS. Here are some commonly asked questions about children’s eyecare.
Why is it important for children to have their eyes checked?
It is estimated that one in five children have an undiagnosed eye problem,
and this could range from not being able to see the board at school to an undiagnosed cataract. It is easy to assume that if a child doesn’t complain about visual problems, then their vision must be fine, but this is certainly not the case. Most children who have undiagnosed visual problems, simply assume that everyone sees the way they do. Only 53% of children in the UK have ever had any kind of eye test and this accounts for all those undetected visual problems that children have to cope with. School work will certainly be affected, and this will affect the child’s development in many ways.
Don’t school nurses check their vision at school?
Many parents assume that school nurses check children’s eyes and, although, there is still provision for school nurses to do a vision check in reception class.
A vision check alone, however, will fail to pick up many eye problems that a full eye examination by a qualified optometrist would.
Eye examinations are funded by the NHS for ALL children in full time education until their 19th birthday.
How can you do an eye examination if my child doesn’t yet know his/her letters? Vision can be assessed in many ways. We can assess vision in children under a year old by using objective, preferential looking techniques. We can use picture matching charts in toddlers who can name or point to pictures shown on a chart.