Research commissioned by Specsavers has indicated that on average, Australian and New Zealand children spend the equivalent of a full-time job (up to 35 hours) per week staring at screens.

The research also showed that in Australia, one in three (30%) children aged 1-17 years had never had an eye test, equating to nearly 1.3 million children.

Similarly, one in two (45%) New Zealand children within the same age bracket had never had their eyes checked – equating to more than 400,000 children.

Additional research showed that more children in Auckland were spending time looking at screens than any other region in New Zealand, with 25% using laptops, smartphones and iPads and watching TV for more than five hours each day compared with children in Wellington (11.6%) and Canterbury (10.5%).

Many of the parents surveyed were unaware that long-term eye issues could potentially be prevented or treated if detected by an eye specialist before a child turned eight, with the statistics serving as a reminder of the importance of booking eye tests early and regularly.