Sight tests should be part of everyone’s healthcare routine just like going to the dentist.

National Eye Health Week 2018

This year National Eye Health Week (NEHW) is from 24 to 30 September. The purpose of the week is to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests no matter what age you are.

When should my child’s eyes be checked?

Children’s eyes continue developing up to the age of seven or eight, so it is very important to care for their eyes in the early years to help encourage good vision later in life.

Your child may be checked:-

  • within 72 hours of birth
  • between 6 and 8 weeks old
  • at around 1 year old, or between 2 and 2.5 years old
  • at around 4 or 5 years old – children will usually have an eye test when they start school, although this varies depending on where you live
After this age it is recommended that children have regular eye tests at least once every two years. These can be done at a high street opticians and are free for all children under 16 years old (and those under 19 years old in full-time education) – NHS Choices
Speak to your GP or health visitor if you have any concerns about your child’s vision at any stage (see spotting signs of an eye problem)

Children and Contact Lenses

It is important that older children who wear contact lenses follow the advice they are given on how to care for and wear contact lenses so their eyes stay healthy and comfortable.

If you are considering contact lenses for your child then read our article ‘Tweens, Teens and Contact Lenses’

There are many simple things you can do to help children of all ages keep their eyes and vision healthy. See this excellent guide from visionmatters.org along with other useful information in conjunction with National Eye Health Week.

Getting Eye Tests at Home

If you or your child are unable to leave home because of physical or mental illness you are eligible for a free NHS sight test and may be entitled to have this done at home and NHS-funded (domiciliary sight test). A qualified optometrist or an ophthalmic medical practitioner will visit you with their own equipment (visionmatters.org.uk)

‘Vision really matters. Sight is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don’t know how to look after our eyes – National Eye Health Week aims to change all that!’ – Vision Matters

National Eye Health Week 2018