Eye Health Central

8 Facts About Childrens Vision

8 Amazing Facts About Children’s Vision

We all know how important good eyesight is, but did you now how many children in the UK have never had their eyes tested by an optometrist or how many children are blind or partially sighted, check out these interesting statistics about children’s vision in the UK.

1 in 5 teenagers in the UK are short-sighted according to the Royal National Institute of Blind people (RNIB), unfortunately not all of these being corrected by glasses or contact lenses.

Teenager_glasses_contact lenses

1 in 10
parents and carers believe they need to pay for their child’s sight test according to the AOP, whereas sight tests are provided free by the NHS for children under 16 years old (up to and including 19 years of age if in full time education).

child sight test

2 years
is the recommended gap between sight test for children.
These can be carried out at a high street opticians, they only take about 30 minutes and a child doesn’t need to be able to read to have their vision tested and they are free.

Child sight test chart

13% of children in the UK have an undiagnosed sight problem such as short-sightedness, or astigmatism that may affect their literacy and education according to the Education endowment foundation.


24% of children in the UK have never had their sight tested by an optometrist according to the AOP.

1 in 50 children will develop amblyopia commonly known as “lazy eye” according to an NHS study.
Amblyopia can become more difficult to treat as a child gets older, highlighting just one of the reasons for children to have their sight tested early.

child_amblyopia_lazy eye

74% of optometrists have seen children in the past year with vision problems that may have been treated more successfully if they had been diagnosed at an earlier age.


25,000 or more children under the age of 16 are blind or partially sighted in the UK. As many as half of these children have other disabilities, according to a recent study by the RNIB.


Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 19 Nov 2018, Last modified: 4 Mar 2020