Parents in the dark on retinoblastoma risk

Two thirds of young children have never had an eye test

Two thirds of young children have never had their eyes checked, new figures released by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) have revealed.

A survey of more than 1,000 parents with children aged from birth to six found that just 28% had taken them to an optician, GP or other health professional for an eye check. Furthermore, half of parents didn’t know that children could develop eye cancer.

The figures have been released to coincide with World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week (May 8-15) and to launch its In the Dark campaign to raise awareness of eye cancer.

CHECT has called for healthcare professionals to always address parental concern about their child’s eye health, and to ensure a red reflex test is carried out following symptoms such as squint or leukocoria to rule out retinoblastoma.

Patrick Tonks, chief executive of CHECT, said: ‘For too long retinoblastoma has been shrouded in darkness – children are left in the dark because some or all of their vision has been stolen and parents and healthcare professionals are in the dark because of a lack of awareness.’