Book your child a free eye test
Children should be regularly screened to avoid problems with their sight affecting their early vision and schoolwork. For young children, the tests only take 20 to 30 minutes and are done using pictures, for older children the tests are the same as for an adult. If a child does need glasses, there is help towards the cost of buying these through the NHS. Getting a test done provides real peace of mind for parents as, on average there are 2 or 3 children in every classroom who should have prescription glasses to help them see properly. Tests are free for all children under 19.
If your child needs to wear glasses it’s important that they wear them as advised by their optometrist, as forgetting to wear them could cause headaches. Glasses are often used to help children see the classroom whiteboard or with close reading tasks.
Children with glasses don’t always wear them regularly so here are some tips to help them get into a routine.
- Check the fit to make sure they are comfortable (not too tight on their head or rubbing on their nose or ears). If they are loose, they can slip down the nose. If in doubt, take your child back to the optician who will be happy to check the fit for you.
- Check that your child looks through their glasses and not over the top of them.
- Check that their glasses are cleaned regularly with a soft lens cloth and lens cleaner – getting grubby fingerprints on them will make it more difficult for your child to see
- Explain to your child why they need to wear glasses and how this helps their vision – understanding this often makes a child happier to wear them.
- Tell your child’s classroom teacher about their glasses and ask them to encourage your child to wear them in lessons.
Some children can be fitted with contact lenses as an alternative, depending on their eye condition and prescription. They’ll need to be able to look after their eyes and their contact lenses properly, putting the lenses in and out themselves. Your optometrist will discuss whether lenses are a suitable alternative to glasses at your eye test appointment.
Often children spend longer out of doors in the summer holidays, so don’t forget to get them to wear sunglasses to protect their eyesight form damage by U.V rays. Check sunglasses have a CE mark before you buy them.
At Monnow Eyecare Helen, Mike, Barbara and Wayne are all qualified to check children’s eyesight so it’s easy to make a convenient appointment during the school holidays. Just call us at Monnow Eyecare on 01600 715 299, pop into the practice or book online here to arrange a free examination for your child before they go back to school.