Eye development between birth and seven years is crucial: undetected problems during that period can result in lifelong visual impairments.
Many children have undetected sight problems. Research shows that approximately 1 in 10 Year 8 children (12-13 year-olds) and 1 in 20 Year 2 children (6-7 year-olds) require glasses but do not have them.
Uncorrected eye problems can seriously damage not only the development of a child’s vision but also their social interaction and performance at school. The negative consequences can be far-reaching.
Vision screening is therefore essential for children of all ages. Eye examinations can be carried out on children as young as six months. The sooner a child is brought for an eye examination the better: the earlier they are diagnosed, the more responsive they are likely to be to treatment. It is recommended that all children should visit an optometrist before they enter school. If you have the slightest concern over a child’s vision, you should seek the advice of an optometrist at once.
Children under the age of 16 and those under 19 and in full time education are entitled to a free NHS eye examination.