Why bother giving my baby an eye test? They seem fine…

We all have worries about our children, but as a rule many people assume their children’s eyesight is fine.
When I told people KW3 needed glasses, no one could believe it and many still can’t. She looks at people, smiles, follows our pets around, grabs things that interests her, is very content and her eyes seem straight! This however, is a common misconception. Just because you think they are fine, it doesn’t mean they are!

In America all parents are encouraged to get their babies checked sometime after 6 months as problems being caught early can prevent much more serious eye problems later. Granted, they have to pay for this privilege but it is encouraged nonetheless. In the UK we have even stopped the eye screening at the two and a half year check, which I believe is madness and all to cut budgets! Leaving testing them until school is such a shame and leaves so many parents feeling unneccesarily guilty that they had no idea their child’s vision was so bad. Large chains often don’t test until children are three, but some specialist opticians/optometrists are more than happy to test children that don’t talk and they have simple non invasive ways of checking whether their eyesight is a concern.
For KW3, the ‘test’ consisted of looking into little torches, tracking objects, and having different lenses held in front of her eyes while looking at bright flashing objects,  this told the optometrist that her vision was a concern so would need further investigation. KW3 actually enjoyed the test and it cost us nothing, the next test will be slightly more gruelling as she will have to have the drops to dilate the pupils, but that is only done if there seems to be a problem.
We honestly thought we would be leaving the optometrist with a clean bill of eye health, not a referral, but it just goes to show you can never be to sure.
I would encourage everyone to get their little ones tested, whether family history or not, but even more so if family history. What harm can it do, it doesn’t cost a penny and it could make a massive difference to your child’s sight . After all, I hadn’t a clue that my darling babies were very farsighted!

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My Three and Me
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26 thoughts on “Why bother giving my baby an eye test? They seem fine…

  1. thesoupdragonsays says:

    I agree, and its free too! Which I didn’t know until we had problems with my sons eyes. I think so many kids get to school now before they find anything that they should bring back two year eye tests. I hope yours are happy with their glasses, they certainly look cute!

  2. What a wise and fascinating post!! I must admit this never even occurred to me as a mum. But now you’ve come to mention it – then why on earth not. They’ve had their hearing checked etc so why not their eyes too. I think this is a super idea. Especially too that it’s free!! Thank you so much to linking up with us. xx Steph xx #sundaystars

    • I just think it’s so important and the fact that many parents of 2/3 year olds have taken them to the dentist, illustrates a lack of awareness. This is not due to the parent, but due to the fact that this no one suggests it, or indicates it might be worth checking. Instead, you might if you are lucky, get a health visitor asking if you have noticed anything concerning at one of the development check. But small children don’t recognise that they have difficulties seeing, eyes can work harder to focus, and they don’t know any differently. This means it is very feasible that their problems go unrecognised. With the eyes stopping developing at 7( I think but I am tired so might be wrong), surely it is better for it to be caught early. Through my blog I have had a few people contact me with their own stories, one woman started to notice something at 18 months and after waiting lists her child was almost two. By then they had almost no sight in one eye! Had it been spotted earlier they may have avoided lots of heartache, not to mention patching!
      Others have got their children tested, several needed glasses as a result! Just want everyone to know that it is possible to get them checked younger, how easy it is, cost free and early intervention if necessary.
      Thanks for reading, I am glad you enjoyed it.

  3. aww this could be worth while for the youngest two their dad has the worst eyesight and if its caught early will be for there benefit. I never thought about it to be honest. Thanks for joining up with Sunday round up x

  4. You are spot on here, I actually have a draft post gathering dust about this very subject! My older 4 all wear glasses, there is a strong family history on both sides so we made sure to get them checked, the oldest to have them was 3, this was a few months after her twin sister got them. My 3rd had them around her 2nd birthday and my fourth at 16 months (I had to take them off to breastfeed him lol). O had the drops and was checked at 14 months and although he is longsighted too they wanted to wait to see if it got better. We will be due an appointment in the next month or so, so time will tell! #SundayStars

    • Good luck at the appointment; let me know how you get on! KW 3 had a test first to get an idea; she was +11 so not an option to wait and see. The test after drops got the same result. We have an amazing local opticians! Hope we are as happy with the hospital care!

  5. Thank you for such an interesting and informative post. I had never thought about having Little Miss H’s eyes tested. But it really makes sense. Both my husband and I wear glasses and Mr H wore them from a very early age. He actually had to have an operation to correct a nasty astigmatism. I’ll certainly be looking into getting Little Miss H’s eyes checked soon. BTW, I adore the pictures of your little girl having her eyes tested. So sweet! Thank you also for linking up to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx PS Please can I cheekily ask for you to add the #SundaysStars badge to the bottom of your post? This makes sure that we all benefit from th linky love. Thanks so much. X

  6. Such a great post! Informative, interesting and incredibly useful. I have to admit that I don’t think that it ever occurred to me when my two were young to get their eyes checked. I wish I had now and not just waited for the standardised test at school! I hope others read this and use this to encourage them to go get them checked.

  7. Ooo what a fab post – I admit it’s not something I’ve thought about and had no idea it was free. I’m genuinely not sure how my one would take it, he’s not great being ‘faffed’ with but I will =definitely look into finding one for him 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with #twinklytuesday

  8. Do you know it never occurred to me to get my lot tested, that’s bad isn’t it. It was just a lucky bonus when my eldest came home from school having had a good test. Having read this I might get the younger two tested. Great post! x

    • It’s not bad at all! Majority of people I know, it has never even entered the heads as they had no concerns! Problem being kids just adjust as they know no different. Even some professionals say there is no need until school! Rubbish I say! I wouldn’t necessarily say everyone should take their one year olds but why can’t it be part of the 2 year check?

  9. We were the same. I kept telling the doc that Buba couldn’t see and needed glasses he finally now has glasses and has changed so much for the better. He is no longer skittish and scared of everything and is so much more confidence and interactive with people now. I think we should all have to have them tested from 6 months on. I have my daughter now tested too. Sadly when it isn’t caught the kids just use one eye more and the other begins to die off as they call it. And it’s hard to correct that if not caught early enough. Great post to inform more about it. Thank you for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • I agree wholeheartedly, it would be brilliant to catch them by 12 months! Sadly, it’s left Til school here. In America they advise checking babies between 6 and 12 months! Surely checking ours at two nationally is feasible! My little boy was 18 months when an eye started to turn(other than that we had no idea). Because, it hadn’t been caught quite soon enough we have had years of patching(currently on a break ; ) ) but little girl in glasses by8.5 months, both eyes working together! Woo hoo

    • I am sure they are fine but always worth checking… Don’t be fobbed off by opticians that tell you to wait until school, especially if anyone in the family got glasses at a young age. Thanks for reading, I am glad it is raising awareness!

  10. Katy (What Katy Said) says:

    We had G’s eyes tested early as I had a squint as a child. Thankfully she was fine although I failed the test as I was holding her (had to find a ball in among some dots) but I knew I would. An important message, thank you for sharing. #Sharewithme

  11. Just going through the same thing here, Libby has just been fitted for her first pair and we’ll be picking them up this week. So glad we were having regular eye checks anyway due to her squint surgery or I never would have known.x

  12. TraceyFaceUpBeauty says:

    I don’t think they do eyesight tests at school anymore. Neither my children had one throughout primary. It was only intuition that we suspected my son couldn’t see as well as he should when he was 7 years old. It’s terrible. The same goes with hearing tests too – the don’t do those at school either. Tx

    • They do the basic eye and ear test in reception of primary school. You then receive a letter if it has flagged anything up . Little mans school just had them, he was so chuffed when another child in his class started wearing glasses too (he had been the only one)

  13. It’s so great that eye tests are free for the little ones and it’s really important to get them checked but something I wouldn’t have considered until I read this post. Thank you for writing it 🙂 xx

  14. My Three all had basic eye tests at school when they started in reception. All three need to wear glasses but only one of the three was picked up at the screening done in school. I didn’t even think any of them needed glasses until they had visited the opticians so I think it’s really important like you have said to get their eyes tested from an eary age xx

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