Children’s eye tests – eye examinations for children differ slightly from the adults’ eye examination, depending on the age of the child.

We have tests for determining how well children can see, before they can read and even before they can talk.

It is a good idea to have your children’s eyes checked at around two to three years old. At this age we can pick up significant visual problems, which could lead to a squint or lazy eye if left undetected until after the child is of school age.

Children will rarely tell you if they have a problem with their eyes, as they don’t know what they should be able to see. Even the most observant of parents can be totally unaware if their child is unable to see with one of their eyes

An eye examination for children does not hurt. It mostly involves looking at pictures and playing simple games. At the end of the examination the optometrist will use an ophthalmoscope to look into the child’s eyes to check that they appear normal and healthy.

The NHS will pay for an eye examination with a qualified optometrist at least once per year, or more frequently if the optometrist advises it, for all children under 16. Children under 19 and in full-time education can also claim for an NHS eye examination. If your child would benefit from glasses, they will be entitled to an NHS voucher towards the cost. Many glasses are completely free with the NHS voucher.