The assessment of children’s vision is extremely important. Regular testing should be carried out starting at between four and five years of age.

The National Health Service in the United Kingdom allows children to have a free eye examination up to the age of 16, or 19 in full time education.

Children who require some form of visual correction or treatment may not necessarily come from a family with a history of eye problems. It is therefore essential to screen all children before they begin their school career and not to wait until the child’s teacher sends a note home reporting a possible visual problem. Untreated conditions can result in visual problems later in life.

Conditions such as squints or lazy eyes need to be picked up as early as possible. There is then a much better chance that the child’s vision will develop normally with treatment.

Children who are not yet able to read can still be tested as the optometrist has special equipment for measuring sight defects. Children will find these sight tests a pleasant experience.

Today, children’s spectacle frames are attractive and because safety is paramount, only plastic corrective lenses are used.

In addition to spectacles, we fit children as young as 8 with contact lenses as a practical alternative especially for sports.

Prescription sports goggles are also a great idea for those children actively involved in contact sports and prescription swimming goggles are ideal for those budding swimmers.

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