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Good eyesight is essential for children to learn. Up to the age of 12, children acquire 80% of their knowledge through visual learning. This includes activities such as reading, writing and interacting with their surroundings and peers. 

But children are often unable to gauge the quality of their own sight. They have nothing with which to compare their vision. This means that they are unable to tell a parent or teacher if something is wrong.

A child’s vision develops quickly during their early years. It can change often and unexpectedly between the ages of six and 18 years. So, it’s important to have their eyes examined often to identify vision problems and detect eye diseases. 

Read more on why early vision testing is important and when to test your child’s eyes.

What to look out for

There are a few red flags that could suggest your child may benefit from an eye examination. These include premature birth, delayed motor development, excessive blinking, failure to maintain eye contact, poor eye-tracking skills, red eyes, repeated eye rubbing, and secretion in the eyes and eyelid. 

Your child may have undetected vision problems if you notice the following: difficulty completing schoolwork, an aversion to tasks that require reading or close work, easily distracted during such activities, poor performance, afternoon headaches, and sore eyes or squinting. Good eyesight improves learning.

Read our tips on how to avoid eye strain.

The good news is that Spec-Savers offers a free eye exam, pair of frames and clear lenses for all children aged six to 12 years. This means you don’t have to worry about any of the red flags – you can simply book your child in for a free eye test to set your mind at ease, or start their journey to visual acuity if sight problems are detected. All without paying a cent!*

The Kids Right To Good Sight programme is open to every child in South Africa and has dramatically improved the lives of more than 300 000 children since 2008.

How it works

  • Children aged 6 to 12 years qualify for a free eye test. They can get free frames* and lenses if their spectacle prescription meets the qualifying criteria.
  • Parents’ permission is required before testing can take place. 
  • The eye examination is subject to appointment availability and can be performed on an annual basis. Optometrists can only accommodate a limited number of children per day per store, so book early to avoid disappointment.

What to expect at your appointment

Your child’s age will determine the specifics. Generally, the optometrist will build a case history and test your child’s eye alignment and vision. They will check for possible colour blindness and evaluate their eye health.  If spectacles are necessary, they will prescribe specific eyewear. 

Spec-Savers optometrists make each child feel comfortable. They ensure that their experience is less scary than they would expect.

Lead by example by showing your child how important their eyes are. Make them understand that regular eye examinations are necessary. If they learn from a young age how to take care of their eyes, they will grow to respect and protect these precious organs throughout their lives.

Please visit for more information and to book your child’s appointment at your nearest Spec-Savers store.


*Free frames can be chosen from a selected children’s range up to R699. If a more expensive frame is selected, a discount of the same value applies to the selected frame.

Content supplied by Spec-Savers