Children's eye tests

Child having an eye test

It is essential that children of all ages have regular eye examinations.

Eye development between birth and seven years is crucial: undetected problems during that period can result in lifelong visual impairments. Many children have undetected sight problems and uncorrected eye problems can seriously damage not only the development of your child's vision, but also their social interaction and performance at school.

The sooner your child is brought for an eye examination the better - we now have ways of examining children without them needing to know their letters. Your child may seem to see well, but this does not necessarily mean that the whole of the visual system is in good working order. The earlier your child is diagnosed, the more responsive they are likely to be to treatment.

It is recommended that all children should visit an optometrist before they start school.

Your child has a higher risk of eye problems if there is a family history of eye turn/squint or lazy eye, or if close members of your family needed glasses at an early age.

You qualify for a free NHS-funded eye test if you're:

  • under 16
  • aged 16, 17 or 18 and are in full-time education.