In Guernsey the Board of Health supply a screening service for newborns and preschool children at the hospital which is free to use and integrates with other paediatric providers. It is particularly important that developmental problems are picked up at the earliest possible age and any relevant family history should be considered as a risk factor.

There is a window of opportunity for lazy eyes (amblyopia) to respond to spectacles and/or occlusion before the age of 7 years and every encouragement should be given to ensure that spectacles are well fitted and comfortable. This is an area we enjoy, and we take care to create a happy atmosphere so that wearing spectacles is associated with something positive and pleasurable. Our range of frames and sunglasses for those at school is extensive and we will always order the favourite colour for you if it is not in stock.

Please provide your children with adequate sun protection, especially in blue light, near water, sand or snow. Whilst hats are helpful for overhead light it is thought that the most damage to our retinas occurs when the sun is lower in the sky.

We offer eye examinations for all ages, and can provide contact lenses, orthoptic exercises and coloured overlays or spectacles as appropriate. Many of our younger patients are recommended to undertake simple eye exercises before they consider the need for spectacles. There are lifestyle changes which can prevent or significantly reduce the development of short-sightedness – please ensure that your children are closely monitored especially if either parent is myopic.

We are proud to be the first island opticians to fit the misight myopia control soft lenses which reduce the rate of increase in short-sightedness. The earlier the intervention the better.

Those with specific reading difficulty or autistic spectrum disorders may benefit from colorimetry but we will help you decide if this is appropriate.

We recognise that peer pressure is an issue particularly with boys after the age of 10 years and would recommend that as much work is undertaken as possible before this age.

Contact lenses can be of practical value to our children. Research has shown that compliance with contact lens care tends to be greater with the pre-teen age group and previous concerns regarding their safe wear have been alleviated now. The change from wearing spectacles to contact lenses can have a significant effect on self confidence and will certainly improve ability in sporting activities.