Do you know just 19% of under 16s take their free eye test? Eye tests in children have been declining for about 10 years now. As a mum to two glasses wearers, I know just how important they are.
I got my boys tested just before they started school. It seemed like the right thing to do. My eldest was fine – and still is. But the optician recommended he have an annual test, which he’s done ever since.
I thought my younger son would be the same, but as he has that first test, it was apparent something wasn’t quite right. He clearly couldn’t see as well as he should, so the optician decided to test him six months later. At that second test it was confirmed he was long-sighted and, at the age of 5, he had his first pair of glasses. We were told he might stop needing them at 7 or 8, but at nearly 10 he’s still wearing them and his eyes have got slightly worse.
He took his glasses home and his sister tried them on: ‘I can see!’ she announced. We certainly weren’t expecting that!
So we took her to get her eyes tested. Opticians are often reluctant to test children’s eyes at such a young age – just days after her 3rd birthday – but they had good reason to test them. It’s hard to tell if a 3 year old needs glasses when they can’t read and they’re very shy, so her test was inconclusive. We went back three months later and another three months after that, when it was confirmed she was also long-sighted – and her eyes were a bit worse than her brother’s.
Wearing glasses means my kids can do their very best at school. But what if I didn’t know they needed glasses? How would they be doing at school? And they wouldn’t know they needed them, because they wouldn’t know their sight was abnormal.
Wearing glasses had another unexpected bonus for my daughter. She was a painfully shy little girl. She wouldn’t speak to, or even look at, any adults outside of our family. This was surprising as she’d been at nursery since she was six months old. The boys had never been shy, so it was strange to us to have such a shy little girl, but we made allowances for her and made sure to introduce her to people gradually – and if she wanted to hide behind me, we let her.
So why not get your kids’ eyes tested? Eye tests are free for under 16s – and there are plenty of kids’ glasses that are free too (although it can get a little bit more costly if your child is abnormally big and needs adults’ glasses although you will still get some money off adult glasses for under 16s).
This is not a sponsored post. I wrote it as I believe it is very important to get kids’ eyes tested, thanks to our own experiences.