Help to look after their window on the world with free eye tests & more

As a parent or carer, you'll want to give any child the best start in life, which is why looking after their eyes is super important. Their vision helps them find out about you and the world around them – that’s because 80% of a child’s learning is through their sight. Tick keeping their eyes in tip-top shape off your to-do list because we’re here to show you how.

Have regular eye tests

Children usually have their eyes tested by a health visitor when they’re one year old, but it’s best to get them checked again by an optometrist at about three years of age when they’re learning lots and growing bigger. We know getting them to sit still can be a challenge, but don’t worry, our expert optometrists know all the tricks when it comes to testing the eyes of even the wriggliest of children!

An eye test will be able to tell you:

• How well your child can see

• How healthy their eyes are

• If there are any problems with your child’s vision

Children often don’t complain about their sight, but they may show signs of not being able to see clearly, such as:

• Sitting close to the TV

• Holding objects very close to their face

• Blinking a lot

• Rubbing their eyes

Testing your little one’s eyes before they go into full-time education means any problems can be spotted early on – not being able to see can make a busy classroom even more confusing. Did you know all children can get free NHS-funded eye tests until they turn 16? If your child needs glasses, you can also get an NHS voucher towards the cost, which means many of our pairs are free – check them out! Book an eye test now.

Help them eat a rainbow

A diet packed full of fruit and veg will not only benefit your child’s overall health, but will also help to keep their eyes healthy. And they won’t just need to eat carrots! Vitamins found in foods such as oranges, peppers, eggs, dairy and nuts have the biggest health benefits for your eyes. We know how difficult it can be to get kids to eat different foods, so why not introduce fruit and veg to the table in a fun and exciting way?

Show them the great outdoors

Encouraging them to spend time outside may help cut their chance of myopia – the fancy term for short-sightedness. Playing outdoors may also help existing short-sightedness progress less quickly, because of the brighter light levels outdoors compared with indoors. Short-sightedness usually happens when the eyes grow slightly too long, meaning that when you look at things far away they’re often blurry and unclear. This happens because the light that passes through your eyes isn’t focused directly on your retina – the bit of your eye that detects the light.

Although it’s not clear exactly why this happens, short-sightedness can often run in families and has also been linked to focussing your eyes on things close to your face like books, computers and tablets. Don’t panic! Short-sightedness is a common eye condition that can easily be fixed with glasses or contact lenses. Contact lenses for kids? Yeah, they can have frame-free days too!

Shield them from the sun

Did you know up to 80% of UV exposure happens before the age of 18? Just like our skin, our eyes need protecting from the sun. Children's eyes are more vulnerable to damage because they have larger pupils and clearer lenses – and with all that energy, they tend to spend more time exploring the outdoors.

UV is present even on cloudy days, so sun protection is important all year round. Keep your little one’s eyes protected with our great range of children’s sunglasses, which are available with prescription and non-prescription lenses. Psst! Don’t forget their sunscreen, too!

Looking after their eyes is important to you so it’s important to us. Book them in for an eye test at your local Boots Opticians and we’ll take it from there. See you soon!