Eye tests urged before heading to school

Parents are overlooking their children’s eye care, claim experts

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Despite the World Health Organisation estimating that 80% of UV exposure takes place between the ages of 0-18, one in five parents have admitted that they aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect their children’s eyesight.

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A recent study by Transitions Optical found that 24% of parents questioned have not had their children’s eyes tested before they reach 8 years old. According to the experts this is the critical time-period for diagnosing eye problems.

“Children are particularly susceptible to UV eye damage, especially under 12s whose clear lenses aren’t yet fill formed, allowing harmful rays to reach and damage their retina,” optometrist Lindsay Brown said. “If children’s eyes are left unprotected, this can lead to long term eye health problems including cataracts.”

Parents also admitted that eye tests are at the bottom of their ‘back to school’ list, causing experts to urge them to prioritise their children’s eye health with the same importance as going to the dentist or doctor. “There seems to be a lack of understanding about eyesight. I would urge parents to take their children to see an optician at around the age of 4, or even before, as problems detected this young can be corrected more easily,” advised Karen Sparrow, from the Association of Optometrists.

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