Eye health is so important. Knowing when and how often to take your children to get their eyes tested is something we were recently asked about. This article by the experts at Tesco’s opticians covers everything you need to know.
Tesco Opticians family eye care advice:
A baby is born with the eye structures needed for vision, but must learn how to use them together to be able to “see”. Focusing ability, the ability to use two eyes together, hand-eye coordination, colour vision and visual acuity (how well we can see) all continue to develop during infancy.
The eyes continue to develop throughout childhood. Early sight tests are critical to check that children are developing normal, healthy vision. It can be at the start of education that the first signs of an eye problem are presented, the child may have difficulties reading or seeing the board at school. It is very important to detect any vision problems as soon as possible, because the younger a child is treated, the better the chance of responding to treatment.
At what age should children go to the opticians?
Your child’s eyes can be tested from them being a baby. They don’t need to be able to read or understand letters to be tested as pictures can be used instead. Most pre-school children have regular vision screening as part of their routine developmental checks and when your child is born, the pediatrician will check their vision while they are still in the hospital.
Following on from these routine checks, a full eye test at an opticians is important as these are very thorough examinations with qualified Optometrists which ensures your child’s eyes are monitored for a range of issues. Around the age of three is a suitable time to take your child for an eye examination.
How regularly should a child get their eyes tested?
As with adults, children should get their eyes tested every two years. This ensures that their eye health is continually monitored and any changes to their eye sight is picked up at the earliest possible point.
How can you encourage your child not to be worried about the opticians?
Eye tests are designed to be fun and friendly and your child shouldn’t feel nervous or worried. The Optometrist will make your child feel welcome and comfortable, and talk them through what they will do to test their eyes. All tests are child-friendly and won’t hurt.
How can I tell if my child might have problems with their sight?
Eye problems can sometimes run in families so if you wore glasses as a child or had any other eye issues, such as a lazy eye, then your child is more likely to have the same condition. If you notice your child squinting or always needing to sit very close to the television, book in with an opticians to get their eyes looked at. It’s important that any eye problems are picked up and treated early so that early vision and learning doesn’t suffer.
Children – hard coating – to prevent scratching
What frames are best for children?
If your child does need to wear glasses, there is a wide range available which are designed specifically for children. They are practical as well as fashionable and plastic lenses are recommended for children as they are lighter and safer than glass. Tesco Opticians children’s frames offer this as well as hard coating to prevent scratching. Your optician will be able to advise what is best for your child and talk you through the options. They will talk through things like how the glasses fit on your child’s face, explain why s/he needs to wear them and how to look after them.
How can I encourage my child to feel confident wearing glasses?
There are so many options for children’s glasses these days and many children find it fun to wear them. At Tesco Opticians, we have a dedicated range of children’s ranges for boys and girls and have collections also dedicated to their favourite films, such as Penguins of Madagascar. Make them feel like it’s completely normal to wear glasses – if you wear them, make sure you have them on too and point out all the other people on TV or passing by who also wear them. If you’re concerned how they may feel at school, assure them that lots of children wear glasses and speak to your child’s teacher about it so they can keep an eye on them.