Press Release

Children missing out on eye exams

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) is sharing new results of a consumer survey which highlights a worrying lack of knowledge from some parents regarding their children’s eye health.

As the start of the new school term approaches, Dispensing Optician Daryl Newsome, a Board member and examiner with ABDO has appeared on radio stations up and down the UK encouraging parents to act in August and book a sight test for their child.

The radio interviews focussed on the latest ABDO research with over 2,000 UK parents with children aged 0-11, which revealed that as many as 1 in 3 parents (33%) think their kids should have their eyes tested for the first time when they start school. 1 in 7 parents surveyed actually believe that children need to be at least 5 years old before they can have their eyes tested.

More findings from the survey showed that 1 in 5 (20%) parents believe children need to be able to read in order to get their eyes tested. In fact, there are tests charts with pictures and shapes, and ways for the optician to assess a child’s vision even if they can’t cooperate. Worryingly, the last time this question was asked of parents in 2015, this figure sat at 15%, suggesting a general decline in knowledge over the last half decade.

Daryl says, “ABDO uses radio as a way to reach out to consumers every year. It is five years since we last focussed on children’s eye care, and it is disappointing to see that parents are still lacking knowledge about how best to look after their children’s eyes. During the interviews I spoke about signs that may indicate a child’s eye health is not developing as it should, reminded parents that c can have a sight tests, free of charge via the NHS, and explained that August is the ideal month to do this before they return to school.”

Initial results show that the radio day reached over 28 million consumers UK wide.


Notes to Editors

1.       Media enquiries to Antonia Chitty, 07538 525476,

2.       Hi res images and infographic are available

3.       ABDO represents over 6000 qualified dispensing opticians in the United Kingdom. Registered office, 199, Gloucester Terrace, London W2 6LD.