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Back to school is always a bit manic, don’t you find?  All those things to remember – uniform, school shoes, that sort of thing.  I just breathe a massive sigh of relief once they’re both happily (well, kinda…) back in the classroom and I can stop worrying about how haphazard a mother I am or coming up with acceptable snacks all day long.


Talking to Dee Rayarel of Les Yeux opticians in Hertford recently, though, she asked me whether I’d had the children’s eyes tested before they went back to school.  Their eyes? Honestly, it hadn’t even crossed my mind.  But turns out I’m not alone in that.


Doesn’t even matter if they can’t read yet…

You can get your children’s eyes tested for free on the NHS if they’re under 16 – or under 19 and still in full-time education (which most of them are now).  But, even with that, 3 out of 4 children don’t get tested at all.


Used to be that children had their eyes tested in school, but even that’s being cut back now – and a referral from a school sight test can take up to 12 weeks to get an appointment, whereas popping into your local optician takes no time at all.  And a specialist optician like Les Yeux will check things like colour perception as well.


There are lots of choices, too, when it comes to frames – some super-stylish kids frames out there.  And, just like adults, children can get prescription sunglasses, swimming goggles, protective eyewear for sports, that sort of thing – as well as contact lenses (check out this video about it) if your child doesn’t want to wear glasses – or is into sport or drama.

I asked Dee from Les Yeux to give us some pointers – things to look out for that might mean getting a child’s test booked would be a good plan:

  1. Bumping into things or tripping over frequently – particularly toddlers.
  1. Children not being able to see the board at school – and that’s not something they might be able to tell you themselves. If a child is having trouble seeing, they might not know they are because they don’t necessarily know what normal vision should look like.  Sometimes, problems concentrating in lessons are actually problems seeing in lessons.


  1. Reading slowly, or squinting and rubbing their eyes while reading or doing homework. Avoiding doing homework is something to look for, too.  Parents too often battle over homework or reading – even though they might be doing fine in the classroom – when the problem is actually the children not being able to focus on the words close-up.

And — just for you Muddy lovelies — if you pop in and get your child’s eyes tested at Les Yeux, or even if you take in your child’s prescription from another optician, you’ll get £10 off your child’s frames if you say that you’re a Muddy Herts reader.  Result!

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