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Children’s Eye Sight Tests

When should children have their first eye check?

We recommends regular sight tests from around the age of 3 and older, or earlier if you have noticed a problem with your child’s vision. Special tests have been devised for very young children, so they do not have to be able to read to have an accurate eye examination performed! As they get oldermore detailed tests can also be performed. Best of all, children’s sight tests are FREE on the NHS!

Without good vision children can suffer from setbacks in their learning and in their social skills as well: poor vision can lead to a lack of confidence due to uncertainty in their surroundings and their abilities to perform detailed tasks well. Although vision screening checks are often carried out by nurses, health visitors and other medically trained staff, these checks are not as thorough as a full eye examination by a qualified optometrist and a lot can go undetected.

Only 41% of children aged 0-15 years old in Essex attended for a sight test last year. Research suggests there may be up to 49000 children in Essex alone, who have an uncorrected prescription simply because they have never had a sight test. Additionally national statistics show that up to 3000 children in the UK have an undetected squint or lazy eye.

Looking at this information it is clear we need to encourage more children to get their eyes tested to give them the best chance at school and detect any visual problems early on when they are most easily treated.

Eye examinations do not hurt and we have plenty of stickers for all our patients!


Look after your child’s eyes

Just like the dentist, it is important your child attends for regular check ups with their family optometrist. Many common eye conditions such as long-sightedness, shortsightednessastigmatismsquint and colour vision defects are inherited, so if there is a family history of eye problems it is important your child’s vision is checked on a regular basis.

Some conditions, for example short-sightedness, develop later on in childhood so regular checks are important even if an earlier sight test found everything to be ok.  A lot of eye conditions have no symptoms initially but can be more easily treated if detected early on. Don’t wait for a problem to develop, treat it before it becomes a problem!

What if my child needs glasses?
If your child is told they need glasses, your optometrist will advise you on why and when they need to wear them. Our helpful dispensers will advise you on what frames and lenses are best for the prescription issued and teach your child on how to look after their specs.

We have the largest collection of Children’s glasses in Chelmsford from free NHS frames to Whizz Kids, Lazer, Univo, EyeStuff, Ted Baker, Joules , Star Wars, Peppa Pig, Batman, Superman,  and Raybans, we aim to have something for everyone. We have frames for all sizes and can order frames in from our suppliers if you can’t find anything suitable in practice!

Everyone is entitled to a voucher from the NHS to help cover the cost of their children’s glasses. The value of the voucher is determined by how large the child’s prescription is. Once your glasses are ordered they take between 7-10 working days but may come in sooner, either way we’ll ring you to let you know they are ready.

Can they wear contact lenses?
There is no age restriction on who can wear contact lenses, although Claire believes that they should only be fitted to children who are capable and mature enough to care for the lenses themselves and exhibit good hygiene. Having said this, as children are used to following clear rules in school and at home, we generally find them to be the most compliant of our patients!

Very young children are only fitted if there is an eye condition that would benefit from contact lens wear due to the level of care involved. Older children are very commonly fitted with contact lenses nowadays. We have successful contact lens wearer as young as 7 years old!
Advantages of contact lenses:

* Confidence Boost

* Great for Sports

* Socialising

* Comfort

* Constant Prescription Correction

Contact lenses are not covered by the NHS. For more information on contact lenses and prices, or to book a sight test or contact lens assessment, call us on 01245 461 843 or email us at