One of my secret worries as a mom is that my kids can’t see properly. Having good eyesight means the difference between a good and bad quality of life, especially at primary school!
We tend to take our eyesight for granted but poor vision is very common. It’s recommended for kids to get their first eye test early as 6 years old!
Ashley and I both have very bad eyesight. We are short-sighted. I can see until about an arms length away and Ashley can’t see further than his nose! One of Ashley’s pet-peeves is how almost everyday I remove my contact lenses before locating my spectacles. What ensues is a very frustrating blind search for my glasses!
I remember in primary school when my mom was called in by my Grade 3 teacher. She told my mom that my grades had slipped so she moved me to the front of the class. Being closer to the blackboard made my grades shoot back up again so she deduced that I needed to have a vision screening test.
When it confirmed that I needed to wear glasses I thought my life was made! As a music student who liked to read a book by myself during break time, I was already being called a geek! Being different and rocking my pink and purple plastic prescription lenses to school was awesome! Also it was great being able to see.
Wondering if my kids could see properly was motivation enough to take them for their first eye test.
Spec-Savers offers free first eye tests for kids
With both Ashley and I already wearing prescription lenses, part of the reason I held back until now for eye tests for the kids was the expense. I expected to pay exorbitant fees. Then I found out about that part of Spec-Savers social responsibility is a campaign which helps kids in South Africa get access to the best optometry for free!
Spec-Savers has an on-going campaign called Kids Right to Good Sight. Since the the campaign launched in 2008, they’ve assisted over 193 243 South African children with FREE eye tests, colour coded frames and Aquity prescription lenses, dramatically improving their lives forever. The promotion is free for all primary school kids aged between 6 and 12.
You can also visit the Spec-Savers website for tons of information on Caring for your child’s vision.
Making a booking for their first eye test was easy
We had to schedule appointments for the vision screening eye test weeks in advance. We were actually quite lucky to get one so quickly at Spec-Savers Canal Walk.
It was Joshua’s second eye test and Alex’s first. Alex was very excited and in the days leading up to her “first eye test” she started complaining about her eye sight deteriorating. She was squinting so badly on the day of the eye test that I almost believed her! I heard from another mom that the same condition struck her daughter too right before her eye test (so they’d obviously been talking at school!).
The first eye test went well
The staff of Spec-Savers Canal Walk were all fussing over Alex and Josh. They made them feel so special from the minute we arrived to our appointment!
The first part of the eye test was the most exciting. When else are siblings allowed to see X-RAYS of each others’ eyeballs?
Being her first time at the Optometrist, Alex’s life was made when she finally got to sit in the chair! She had to sound out all the letters as they appeared in red or green on the wall.
She was a bit nervous about the test but the optometrist was patient and clearly had lots of experience testing little kids.
Spec-Savers optometrists believe that the essence of a child’s eye examination is flexibility which requires varying the examination according to the child’s age and degree of co-operation. https://www.specsavers.co.za
The result was that Joshua’s astigmatism had slightly deteriorated in his left eye, while Alex was quite disappointment to discover she had perfect vision. In fact, she is the only one of our family who is slightly far-sighted instead of short-sighted. Although the doctor did say that at her young age, they are able to overcompensate for it and would only require spectacles if the condition worsens and causes headaches.
One happy and one unhappy customer
Later that evening they relayed the whole story to dad and we could see that Alex was a bit disappointed that she didn’t need prescription lenses. We madea big deal out of her “passing her eye test so well” so she is appeased.
Her little friend who also went for her first eye test around that time was not so understanding. Her mom told me how she found a note in which she had written “I hate optometrists!”.
Have you taken your kids for their first eye tests?