• Asda Opticians offer free eye tests and free frames for all children

As schools across the nation withdraw routine eye-testing for children, a recent survey to raise awareness of its importance by Asda, in association with Blind Children UK, reveals the shocking statistics about parent’s attitudes to their children’s eye health.

Only half of parents are aware that schools across the UK will no longer offer free eye tests for pupils. Furthermore, just 1 in 5 parents consider their children’s eye health a major concern and are unaware of the dangers of not testing regularly from an early age.

Despite 73% of parents worrying about their child’s exposure to computer screens, testing their children’s eyes on a regular basis is not a major concern for 80% of parents.

Approximately 2 million parents have never taken their child to the optician and only 21% of parents who have noticed their children complaining about headaches take their children to the opticians[1].

The reasons behind not having children’s eyes tested regularly range from assuming their child’s eye sight seemed fine (35%),[2] through to concern over the high costs of frames (27%) and the worry that children will become reliant on glasses from a young age, making their eyes weaker over time (25%). A quarter of parents surveyed (25%) also didn’t think their child would be able to do the test as they are too young to read, and almost half (49%) said that no one had advised them when to take their child for a test.[3] Parents were also unaware (22%) that eye examinations test the health of the eyes and not just the eye-sight.

Asda and Blind Children UK are joining forces to encourage parents to use the new school term as a kick-start to check up on kids’ eye health. Eye tests and kids’ frames and lenses are now free in Asda stores across the UK and testing can be carried out while parents do the weekly shop.

Claire Slade, Superintendent Optometrist at Asda, said:
“Eye tests can often fall by the wayside amidst the demands of daily life, but they are just as important as a trip to the dentist or doctor. Modern technology and the increasing reliance on tablets and smart phones can have an impact on children’s eyesight, causing strain on young eyes. To help parents ensure their children’s eyes are in good health, we offer free vision tests and free frames for children, with a huge selection of on trend eyewear to choose from.”

Alison Selby at Blind Children UK said:
“We are in a worrying situation where children are not getting their eyes tested in either school or at an opticians with their parents. There are a number of eye conditions that are common among young children – some of which can lead to sight loss if not caught early – and these can be detected in a thorough eye examination. If you haven’t taken your child for an eye test because they are unable to recognise letters you needn’t worry, as the test can be adapted to suit the age and needs of the child. Early detection and intervention can make the world of difference, which is why we are calling for parents to get their children’s eyes tested within the first year of school.”

ENDS

[1] According to research conducted via Blind Children UK in 2015
[2] See above
[3] See above