6 reasons to take your child to the optician | Mother Distracted

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Monday, 6 July 2015

6 reasons to take your child to the optician

Ieuan has morphed seamlessly out of his Spiderman phase (at the point, obviously where we have just invested in a new costume for him) into his new alter ego of Harry Potter.

Ieuan as Harry Potter
No, the scar probably isn't accurate!
We have just watched the entire box set of Harry Potter DVDs and we were all totally transfixed.

Mind you, given the number of pairs of glasses Harry breaks during the series I hope he had them insured.

This has led to Ieuan wandering around in an old wizard robe from his cousins and sporting a very fetching Potter-esque scar (black eye liner - well I've given up trying to do that cat-eye eyeliner thing so I may as well use it for something).

His new most precious possessions are his Harry Potter glasses and wand.

There is a certain degree of irony in the fact that he happily wears these glasses all day and is delighted now I have given him an old glasses case to keep them in.

I started to wear glasses at age 11 - the old-style, black NHS frame - and I hated them.

I still hate wearing glasses to this day due to my OCD but the difference in frames, both in terms of materials used and styles, is vast.

Both the Husband and I are short-sighted so the likelihood is that both Caitlin and Ieuan will end up wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Perhaps they may even opt for laser eye surgery - something which didn't exist back in the days when I was struggling to see the blackboard in 1975!

In fact, opticians Optical Express advise that children should have an annual eye exam, even if they are not yet wearing spectacles and there are several very good reasons for this.

Children can be tested at any age but children's eyes are fully developed by the time they are 8 years old so it is very important to have any problems detected before this, not least because, if left undetected for too long, some sight defects cannot be corrected.

Nowadays only 60% of schools provide eye tests and, even then, this is not a full eye test carried out by a pediatric optometrist.

Distance vision is checked but the test may not pick up all levels of long-sight and an eye exam carried out by a registered optometrist is advisable.

You should also consider the following:-

The eye exam will check general health, not just that of the eye.

Any defect in vision can be picked up and quickly rectified.

Poor vision may impact on learning in school - your child may not be able to see the whiteboard clearly, for example, and you are unlikely to know this without the benefit of an eye exam.

Excessive use of iPads and too much 'screen time' may lead to tired eyes, eye strain and headaches - which may impact on vision.

Eye infections and eye injuries (such as a foreign body in the eye) are better diagnosed by opticians than by your GP (who will not have the equipment needed to thoroughly examine the eye).

Glasses are no longer 'uncool' - there is a great range of child friendly glasses.

All children under 16 qualify for an NHS voucher entitling them to a free eye test.

If your child needs glasses they will also qualify for an NHS voucher that enables them to choose free glasses from a selected range or most opticians will have a budget friendly range of glasses for kids.

Caitlin goes into Year 3 in September and Ieuan starts Year 2.  I'll be getting both their eyes tested, just in case, although I hope that they both have a few more years' glasses free.

It's best to be on the safe side, though, isn't it?

This is a collaborative post.
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