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How old does my child have to be to have an eye examination?

Children can be seen at any age. Do make sure they are seen before starting school as some eye conditions can be treated more effectively if they are discovered early.
A child’s vision is fully developed by the age of eight.
Look out for:

  • Your child screwing their eyes up or rubbing their eyes.

  • Clumsiness or bumping it to things.

  • If they have issues with coordination for example catching a ball.

  • Children who appear to have a short attention span or become disruptive.

  • A child might be sitting too close to the tv or their nose too close to a book page.

  • They may comment that a page doesn’t look straight or that the lines slope.

  • Children who refuse to read or are having difficulty concentrating.

  • A child who is introverted or who appears to day dream.

  • Complaining of headaches. Most headaches aren’t caused by visual problems but could be due to an uncorrected prescription.

  • Some long term medications can had eye related side effects for example ADHD drugs or antihistamines.


Eye examinations for children under the age of sixteen or under the age of nineteen and still in full time education are free of charge under the NHS. If a prescription is needed, they can choose to have a pair glasses that are free with an NHS voucher.

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