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Who to see

If you are concerned you have noticed a sign of retinoblastoma we recommend you take your child to the general practitioner (GP), a local opticians/optometrist or a local ophthalmology department to have their eyes examined. Please be aware that all optometrists are trained to test children of all ages but some choose not to test babies and younger children so you may have to try a few before finding one happy to check your child's eyes for you. Some ophthalmology departments have a 'walk in' or A & E clinic, others will need a referral from your GP.

Please remember that retinoblastoma is rare, so you may need to explain to the medical professional checking your child that you are concerned you have seen a sign of retinoblastoma in your child's eye(s) or in a photo and that you would like your child to be tested properly in order to rule this out.

The general practitioner (GP), a local opticians/optometrist or a local ophthalmology department are all able to refer on for further tests if they are in any doubt about ruling out retinoblastoma.  If you feel you are being held up at any stage during the process, either in seeing someone initially or when waiting for a referral or do not feel fully reassured that retinoblastoma has been ruled out then ask to see someone else until you have peace of mind or have received a swift referral.

If you have any unusual photos of the eye/s it is also a good idea to take these with you, along with a copy of our I Spy awareness leaflet.   You may also wish to download our See Red poster which explains how a professional checks eyes for retinoblastoma using a red reflex test.

Download these leaflets to take with you to help explain your concerns

paper icon I Spy - Awareness Leaflet A5

paper icon Red reflex poster


At your appointment your health professional will carry out a 'Red Reflex' test. In a darkened room; they will use a medical torch (ophthalmoscope) to check the retinas at the back of the eyes. They will have a good look at the back of both eyes to check for anything unusual. If they have any concerns they will refer your child quickly to a local ophthalmology (eye) department for further investigation.

We do not recommend you go to the general accident and emergency department for this examination.


If you would like to talk to someone about the signs & symptoms of retinoblastoma please contact our support workers Lesley Geen - on 020 7377 5578 or via email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - or Julia Morris - on 0121 708 0583 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Signs and symptoms

Spotted something unusual in a child's eye or photograph? Read about the signs of childhood eye cancer and what to do if you suspect a child has retinoblastoma.

What retinoblastoma could look like

Examine these images to see the different ways in which retinoblastoma can present itself.

What might happen next

A brief account of what will happen next if your child is referred for further examination.