Why your child needs a sight test


Parents are being urged by Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists to get their children’s eyes checked regularly, after they revealed that 42 per cent of under 16s they’ve tested in the last five years have required glasses or contact lenses.

Failure to address eye health issues early on can lead to difficulties developing key abilities such as spatial awareness, motor skills, sensory development and communication and social skills, say Bayfields. Visual problems can also affect education and learning at school or college.

Young children may struggle to articulate if they’re having problems with their eyes, so Bayfields have compiled a useful checklist of warning signs for parents and carers:

Eight warning signs children need their eyes tested

1. Does your child regularly rub her eyes or squint?

2. Does she close one eye or try to obscure her vision on purpose when reading or looking at objects?

3. Has she consistently complained that her eyes hurt, especially when using screens or reading?

4. Does she suffer from headaches or find it difficult to pay attention and focus when you’re interacting with her?

5. Does she sit very close to the TV or hold screens or books very close to her face?

6. Has she suddenly started to avoid doing things like writing, homework or reading?

7. Is she confused when reading, writing, drawing or carrying out other activities?

8. Is she more sensitive to light than usual, or are her eyes watering excessively?

Royston Bayfield, founder and managing director of Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists, says: ‘Often parents don’t realise there is a problem, and although there are some signs to look out for, we’d always advise getting a proper eye examination – particularly as many will have missed their routine appointments due to the lockdown. It’s not just vision that can be an issue, there are other health conditions that can be identified through thorough eye tests.’

Eye examinations are available for free on the NHS for under-16s.