Liverpool parents urged to add an eye test to their back-to-school checklist

Picture: Shutterstock
Picture: Shutterstock

New research has shown that parents are not treating their children's eye health as a priority, despite increased screen time.

The Specsavers data also revealed that older Australian parents are managing their child's eye health very differently to younger parents, with millennial parents taking a much more preventative approach.

Specsavers Liverpool optometrist Wai Choong Lok wants all Liverpool parents to include an eye test on their back-to-school list.

"Virtual and screen-based learning means children and teens alike are spending more time on their laptops and tablets than ever before, and I've noticed a significant rise in the number of children presenting with digital eye strain," he said.

"We recommend Liverpool parents bring their child to see an optometrist for a routine eye test before they begin school.

"An eye test for your child should be a part of that back-to-school checklist, even if you aren't concerned about any changes in their vision or they don't wear glasses."

Specsavers estimates that as many as 60,000 Australian children and teens have missed having an eye test due to COVID-19 and of those aged 10-20, the common problems were short and long sightedness.

NSW Specsavers optometrist Greeshma Patel said parents should be taking their children for eye tests regularly.

"I recommend NSW parents take their child for a routine eye test before they begin school and then every two years after that unless otherwise directed by their optometrist," she said.

"If a child complains about headaches, blurred vision or any issues with their eyes, I recommend booking an appointment with an optometrist straight away rather than waiting until their next check-up.

"The changes we're seeing in virtual and screen-based learning means children and teens alike are spending more time on their laptops and tablets, so it's important your child's vision stays front of mind this school year."

The research also reports that 76 per cent of NSW parents are the most concerned about the amount of time their children or teens spend on screens and over two thirds (64 per cent), say their child has experienced or complained about an eye issue.

The most common eye issue experienced by children in NSW are dry or sore eyes (30 per cent), followed by headaches or tired eyes (24 per cent), itchy eyes (20 per cent), sore eyes (18 per cent) and a problem with seeing things in the distance (17 per cent).