Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South, Ian Murray, and local optician, The Opticians of Marchmont, are delighted to announce an exciting new Children’s Eye Health Week in South Edinburgh.  They have established the Edinburgh South Children’s Eye Health Week running from 21 – 26 November 2011 to raise awareness of the importance of regular and early eye tests.   The campaign has been endorsed by the Chief Executive of the Association of Optometrists, part of the Optical Confederation and Eye Health Alliance.

Ian Murray MP say:- “We know our local schools do all they can to test pupils eyes but with limited equipment available and the effect of current budgetary constraints it is impossible to give each pupil a full sight test.  A full sight test can pick up any potential problems early in a child’s life like dyslexia or having amblyopia.  That is why with the help of local opticians and the Association of Optometrists we aim to support the work schools are doing in this area as the benefits to children and their education can be enormous.”

Steven Hislop, owner of The Opticians of Marchmont said:- “All children need to have an eye examination ideally before they are aged 8, and these tests are free to all parents and paid for by the NHS. Opticians make these tests fun and enjoyable and can also provide free glasses for children who are in need of a prescription.  I am grateful to Ian and the local schools who are keen to get involved as if we can help just one child who otherwise might have slipped through the net it will have been worthwhile.”

The campaign is encouraging schools and parents to get involved with the Edinburgh South Eye Heath Week and make sure all children have the opportunity to have any potential vision problems detected early on in their lives.  Children don’t even need to be able to read to undergo a full sight test – a picture based assessment can be used.

If parents or Schools would like further information they can contact Ian Murray MP on 662 4520 or at

  • 90% of children regularly go to the dentist, but only 53% have ever had a sight test
  • A child does not recognise what “blurry” is and this can have an impact on their ability to learn
  • The earlier an eye problem can be detected, the better the outcome can be for the child. Early treatment can make a difference that lasts a lifetime.