Children’s health being put at risk by parents not taking up free eye checks

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Many parents are putting their children at risk of slow development or even future health problems by not taking advantage of free eye tests, according to Peterborough’s leading eye expert, Scrivens Opticians.

Eye tests are free to children under the age of 16 (or 19 if in full time education) but according to recent figures, only 22 per cent of children get their eyes tested in any one year.

Branch manager, Jeanette Green and her team, who are based in The Precinct in Market Deeping, fear that parents don’t know the examination is free of charge for children and could be putting them at risk by not taking them for a regular check-up.

Jeanette said: “It is essential to protect vision in the early years of life.

“Obstacles to vision such as squints and refractive errors can lead to “lazy” eye, which unless detected and treated early could lead to irreversible visual impairment.

“Poor vision can also effect a child’s educational and social development.

“If a child cannot see the classroom board clearly or cannot see the words written on a page or computer screen comfortably, they will most likely fall behind their peers in development.”

As well as the free eye test, children who need a prescription to help their vision can also have a range of free glasses on the NHS.

Jeanette adds: “Undetected sight problems are worryingly common, with one in ten children aged 12 to 13, and one in 20, aged six to seven, having sight problems that require glasses, but do not have them.

“The Easter holidays is the perfect time to take your children to your local optician and get their eyes tested.

“We don’t want to worry parents; we simply want to raise awareness that expert services are available and are free of charge.”

To book your child’s eye test at your local Scrivens branch this Easter holidays, visit www.scrivensopticians.co.uk.