Westerham Eye Care provides free NHS sight examinations for children under sixteen and those under nineteen in full-time education. If spectacles are required you qualify for an NHS voucher to help you towards the costs.
A question often asked by parents is “when should my child have their eyes examined?”
If there is a family history of childhood eye difficulties such as lazy eye, squints or the need for glasses at a young age, an eye examination by the age of three is important, even if there are no symptoms. If parents notice eye problems at a younger age, then the child should be seen immediately: it is important for the development of good vision that any difficulty is detected and that treatment is started as early as possible.
For all children, even if there are no concerns about their vision or signs of problems, a thorough eye examination at the age of four, before they start school is recommended. This is to check for any sight problems that may affect the child's ability to learn, particularly reading.
It doesn't matter if your child is too young to read a letter chart. At Westerham Eye Care we use a range of techniques and modern equipment including pictures, numbers and shapes to check the child’s vision and to detect visual problems at any age.
We realise that some children might be rather frightened about coming along for an eye examination. Indeed, sometimes children may even pretend that there is nothing bothering them about their eyes in order to put off a visit. We will work with parents to address these concerns (e.g. by bringing the child in a few days beforehand to familiarise them with the practice, introduce the optician and to generally reassure them). The differences brought about – both socially and educationally - by having vision problems rectified are immense.