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...Aunt Petunia taking Harry to the eye doctor for glasses. Most of us end up getting them when we can't see the board in school, but it's hard for me to imagine Harry's relatives caring whether he does well in school.

Everything else he has is second-hand, but the glasses must have been prescribed for him and they aren't cheap.

Maybe it would have been embarrassing for the Dursleys if the school had spoken to them about it and they did nothing?
I had no indication Harry didn't do "alright" in school, nor that he "didn't care how well he did" in school; Muggle school, of course.

In the U.S., many schools do screen for vision and hearing at various intervals; not all, but many do. I am uncertain about the UK, but, as they have a national health care system, there has to be some method by which all children, at least, all Muggle children, are screened while young to determine if their vision and hearing are in proper order.

Harry and Dudley are about the same age, and they are at the same level in their respective schools; each was to leave for more advanced schooling in the same year; Dudley to Smeltings, and of course, Harry ended up at Hogwarts, though that wasn't the Dursley's plan for him.

So I assume that whatever the UK system entails, for vision and hearing tests for school age young persons, and their required vaccinations and so forth, Harry and Dudley would just have had their tests and vaccinations and so forth at the same time. Dudders didn't require glasses, of course, but it is routine to screen school age kids, and it wouldn't have been any "extra" to have Harry along on the same trip as Dudley.

As for expense, again, the UK has a national health care system, and I do assume that eye glasses are provided for children under this system. And, it might even be done through the schools .......... Anyone from the UK care to enlighten us benighted Yanks? Is it a difficult "extra" to have a school age child have a vision check, and obtain eye glasses, or, is there a regular program that checks all children at certain ages?
I think the original poster is saying that Harry's Relatives (aunt and uncle) didn't really care if he did well in school. not Harry himself
Thanks, AJ786. Darq Ali, I did not say Harry did not do all right in school or that he did not care how he did in school.

But you raise an interesting point. Does the national health care system in England cover glasses?
I think it is not beyond reason that the Dursley's would have forked over money to buy glasses for Harry. Not enough to buy replacements if the eyepiece was broken, though. They likely made sure he had his immunizations, too.
gilthoniel Wrote:Maybe it would have been embarrassing for the Dursleys if the school had spoken to them about it and they did nothing?
Valid point about the glasses. If the school screened Harry and found that he needed glasses, they probably would have followed up on this to ensure that Harry got them. Here in my little corner of the world, the school does follow up on those sorts of things and if the parents have not acquired them in whatever they determine to be a reasonable amount of time, they start sending home applications for groups that will buy glasses for the kids if the parents can't afford them. The Dursleys would definately not want to be seen as unable to afford glasses nor that they didn't care enough for a child in their household to ensure they did fairly well in school - at the very least homework in on time and not failing. (Rather like an ex-husband of mine who made the most lovely speeches to people outside my household about how we would look into this or that and then make it plain that we wouldn't when we were at home or in privacy *sigh*)

As Arcadia points out though, they wouldn't have fixed broken glasses (provided they could still be worn) or had his eyes rechecked every couple of years to ensure the prescription was correct. He probably did get immunizations since the school probably required them.
I am sorry I misread the initial post, and now I see it was the Dursley's who were characterized as not caring how well Harry did in school .......

Again, this story is set in the UK, which has universal national health care. It is my presumption that this would include the basics for all children, including screening of vision and hearing, and provision for basic remedies {functional if not fashionable glasses; things like contacts being "extras" paid for privately}. I recall that Dudley had to have his piggy tail, provided by Hagrid, removed at a private hospital.

Anyway, here in the States, most states make provision for vision and hearing screening in elementary schools. Reccommendations for remedy are made to the families of those who are found to have problems. Many states cover most children under Medicaid, if their families cannot afford their care. Likewise, most schools require basic immunizations for entry.

And so my presumption is that Harry and Dudley were screened in "the usual way" in Great Britian as they neared school age; and that Harry got his glasses as a part of the national health program there. Certainly, the Dursleys weren't concerned with repair to his glasses, but they couldn't avoid his getting them in the first place. These things are taken care of as a matter of course.
Saying how it is in the US is kind of pointless.
Found this on a site describing NHS to UK citizens ( ):

Quote:Eye care is not free through the NHS. However, eye tests and lenses are free for children

So there you go.
HOBBIT Wrote:Saying how it is in the US is kind of pointless.
Found this on a site describing NHS to UK citizens (

So there you go.

Thank you for the reference {though, when I tried it, it didn't work}.

I specifically noted that things are different in the U.S., and that the U.K. has a form of "universal health care", which Yanks in general do not understand; but that even in the U.S., schools do usually screen for vision {and hearing} problems, and usually, some provision is made to obtain some basic glasses even for those who cannot pay.

The presumption is, that in the U.K., screening for vision would be somewhat "automatic", at least by school age for all children, save those who were, perhaps, home-schooled and 'slip through the cracks'. [Who would ensure Weasley children got glasses if they needed them? Are magical glasses different? We never find out.]

I invited a U.K. reader to explain the process there. I did not assume things were the same; only that, if vision problems are usually handled in the U.S. {which has no universal health care system}, that a country which does would probably have worked it out, too; and that the schools would possibly be involved {because children who can't see, and who can't hear, are quite difficult to teach, after all ........}. I did not say things were "the same". It is clear they are not. Only that even in the U.S. a neglectful family's children who were in need of glasses would probably be screened, and helped, no matter what the adults thought about the matter ......
The link didn't work because the board put ): as part of the link in the URL. I fixed it now. Copying and pasting the URL would work too. Smile
I agree with Darq about the "pointless" comment. It seems to me to be valid to explore other situations in a thread. Darq's comments were neither pointless nor off-topic.
Thank you.

I did agree that Petunia and Vernon Dursley really didn't much care about Harry in general. However, it does not follow that he wouldn't get eye glasses which he very clearly depended upon. He is not, after all, locked under the stairs in a cupboard and fed through a cat flap. He goes to school, and in a nation which does have a basic standard of care concerning health issues, of which vision is but one aspect.

While the Dursleys may feed Harry rather less than he would like, and dress him in Dudley and Vernon's cast off, used clothing, unless they kept him forever out of the public eye, there would be no reason to presume his vision problems wouldn't have been discovered and addresssed; at least by the time he reached school age. Prior to that time, they may have ignored the issue; but once he got to school, the problem would surface, because the Dursley's were not the only people in Harry's life.

Exactly how the screening would be done would be best explained by a citizen of the U.K.