All children in Reception year in state-maintained schools in Harrow are offered vision screening by the Harrow school nursing service.
This is mainly to pick up amblyopia, which is also commonly called 'lazy eye'. Other common eye conditions that can be picked up include: Astigmatism, Squint, Short sightedness or Long sightedness
The sooner that vision problems are detected, the better the outcome for your child. Conditions such as squint and amblyopia (lazy eye) can be treated more effectively if they are picked up earlier, which could make a huge difference to your child’s quality of life.
Being able to see clearly is incredibly important in your child’s overall development, as 80% of what is taught in schools is presented visually.
Any vision problems that can be identified early, will help your child to have a happy and fulfilling school life.
Poor eyesight can contribute to learning and behavioural problems. Young children may not be able to explain any difficulties they are having with their eyesight.
They may not even be aware they have a problem with their vision.
NHS eye tests for children
Free NHS eye tests are available at opticians for children under the age of 16 (under 19 if in full-time education). We strongly encourage you to make sure that you take your child for an eye test on a regular basis.
It is recommended that most people including children should get their eyes tested every 2 years unless your doctor, ophthalmic practitioner or optometrist thinks you should be tested more often.
There is more information about eye testing for children on the NHS website.
Eye tests during the Covid-19 pandemic/lockdown
Most opticians will continue to remain open for all eye and hearing needs during the current lockdown. Under current government guidance, people are allowed to leave home to attend medical appointments, including eye and hearing tests, which are considered essential healthcare services.
Some opticians offer home tests if you are unable to leave home.
You may have concerns about going into a store, but your safety and wellbeing is a top priority. In line with NHS recommendations and Public Health guidance, numerous safety measures are in place.
Opticians use personal protective equipment (PPE) and frames are thoroughly sanitised before and after each use.