It is important that children have their eyes tested regularly because as they grow their eyes can alter and children do not always appreciate that they are not seeing as clearly as they should be.
Children are entitled to a free NHS sight test, help towards the cost of any glasses via a NHS voucher and help for the cost of any repairs with a NHS repair voucher.
Helpful Advice for Children Needing Eye Care.
Children can have their eyes tested from any age but I would recommend starting to have regular eye checks from about four, when they start school. Children should have a vision screening check at school, during the reception year, which will pick up any problems with their sight but it does not check the health of their eyes.
If there are any concerns about a child’s eyes we can check their eyes at any age. Before a child knows their letters and is able to read the letter chart, we use pictures which they match or name. With younger children we rely a lot more on objective tests where they do not need to tell us what they can see. This includes being able to tell whether they are long sighted or short sighted and thus whether may need glasses without the child having to say anything at all! We try to make children’s eye tests as fun as possible.
If a child does need glasses it is important that the frame they have fits well so that it is comfortable for them to wear. If your child does need glasses we are happy to spend the time with you to choose a frame which they like and fits well, ordering other frames in for you to see if we don’t have a frame in stock which suits.
When your child comes to collect their glasses we will adjust the frame to fit them so that they can wear it comfortably. Don’t worry if after they have had their glasses for a while the frame needs re-adjusting, as with any pair of glasses once they have been on and off several times they may well benefit from being refitted. Similarly we quite understand that child’s glasses get damaged on occasion (sometimes quite frequently) and we are happy to repair them as necessary.
Contact Lenses and Children
As far as the eyes go, contact lenses can be fitted to a child of any age. Indeed in the hospital they are sometimes fitted to babies.
However I would recommend that in general children have contact lenses when they are old enough to look after their lenses and thus their eyes. It can take some perseverance to learn to put the lenses in and take them out so anyone who tries contact lenses needs to really want to wear them!
Contact lenses can be great for children. They are a better option for children who play sport and can, in general, greatly improve a child's confidence. Most children who wear contact lenses wear them flexibly with glasses rather wearing contact lenses full time. And it is important to have a pair of glasses when contact lenses aren't being used.
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Gorsey Brigg, Dronfield Woodhouse, Derbyshire, S18 8UE
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