The new school year has begun and there’s so much to think of – but is an eye test on your to do list? In our guest blog by Vision Express, they explain why it’s so important to get your children’s eyes checked and answer some frequently asked questions…

With ‘back to school’ here again, it’s time to start ticking off the check list to make sure your little one is ready to get back into learning. Lots of us go through the more obvious ‘to do’s’ like new uniform, new pencil case, dentist appointment, new school shoes, but how many people consider taking their child for an eye test?

Experts estimate that around 80 per cent of learning is visual, meaning healthy eyes are crucial to childhood development and learning at school. With routine screening as part of a school health check no longer mandatory, the onus is now on parents to safeguard the sight of their families. But when should your child have an eye test?

When to take your child for an eye test

At Vision Express, we encourage all children to have an eye test as early as possible. We can see children at any age should a parent or guardian have any concerns about their child’s vision or if there is family history of any eye conditions, but would recommend all children have had an eye test before school age at the latest, as some eye conditions such as amblyopia (one eye is weaker) or retinoblastoma are best picked up as early as possible.

Signs to look for in children are:

• Bumping into things
• Sitting very close to the TV
• Photographs – if one eye has a different colour reflex
• Child not good at catching a ball – their 3D vision may not be fully developed due to amblyopia
• Holding books too close
• Not enjoying school so much

My child can’t read yet. Can I still take them for an eye test?

The simple answer to this is yes. Our qualified optometrists are all experts at tailoring the eye test to children and making it fun and as easy going as possible. If your child can’t read letters, we have different methods with pictures that can be used. The optometrist will assess for a lazy eye, a child’s 3D and colour vision and any need of a prescription. As part of the eye test, we will also look at the health of the eyes.

What’s involved in the eye test for children?

If your child has questions about an eye test, or if you simply want to see for yourself, watch the video below to see four-year-old Jasmine experience her first eye test and get a glimpse of what’s involved.

If you have any concerns about your child’s eye health or want some reassurance that everything’s functioning well, visit your local Vision Express store or get them booked in online today: www.visionexpress.com

For more information on children’s eye tests visit: www.visionexpress.com/eye-health/childrens-eye-test