Get your child's eyes tested!
Research carried out by Vision Express reveals that parents prioritise regular trips to the hairdressers over an appointment with the optometrist for their offspring: 53 per cent going to the salon four times a year while only 36 per cent make an annual visit to the optician!
Many parents (69 per cent) justify this in the belief that their child's eyesight is "fine" and yet 35 per cent admit that they don't know the danger signs of poor eye health. Some parents also worry about the effect of wearing glasses on their child with bullying a possible issue.
At one extreme, eye cancer can be picked up during an eye test, but from the age of three so too can lazy eye and squints which can be treated but, if not, can cause problems later on.
In young children an optometrist can check for visual impairment by doing a refraction measure from the back to front of the eye which involves eye drops but does mean the child doesn't have to be able to read.
Two per cent of the population suffers from colour vision deficiency (colour "blindness") and this affects three times as many boys as girls. It's essential to know at an early age how severe this is and it does have repercussions for future careers.
Many children who are labelled "disruptive" in class are in fact short-sighted, their behaviour covering the fact that they cannot see properly.
Dyslexia is another problem that can be picked up early on and the use of specific tinted sheets can help enormously.
Vision Express has created "Kids Zones" in store, featuring Tiberias the Teddy Bear to keep kids company, "I've been brave during my eye test" stickers and a "My first glasses" certificate to take home.
Vision Express has well over 300 stores nationwide, to find your nearest one visit their website – you can even make an appointment online.