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The first month of a new school year is nearly done, many five-year-olds will start school may be sitting in class with undetected vision problems.
Emma Richmond Opticians, Ballycastle, stresses the importance of routine sight tests for young children because their ability to learn will certainly be affected by their ability to see, and for many youngsters, no-one will know how well they can or maybe can’t see.
Just 53% of children in the UK have had any form of eye examination.
Optometrist Emma Richmond, says: “Most parents I speak to assume that their child will have their vision checked at school, in many schools that is not the case and a basic vision screening is not carried out.
“It is very misleading for parents, even if school screening is carried out, a screening test is designed to only pick up the worst cases of eye problems for example a child with a lazy-eye or a turn in an eye. Many children who will pass a screening test could still require glasses to see at their best and to see comfortably.’”
In the UK sight tests are free for all children under the age of 16. So parents should be encouraged to take their children along to a local optometrist or optician for a free eye test.
Emma would like to reassure parents that an examination for a pre-school child will be fun and set at their level, they will not be expected to read capital letters until they are confident doing so.
To arrange an appointment or discuss your child’s eyes please contact Emma Richmond on 02820768908.