The authors evaluated three commonly used Likert-type rating scales with an aim to determine which scale performed best when administering questions to children with eye disorders, and their parents. Three scales looked at frequency, severity and difficulty. An initial questionnaire was administered to 10 children with a mean age of 8.6 years: four strabismic, two amblyopic and four refractive error. The wording was changed and replaced the word ‘difficult’ with ‘hard’ to facilitate understanding. The modified questionnaire was administered to 11 children. Children and parents reported a preference for a frequency scale over the severity scale. The difficulty scale had most problems. The authors conclude that frequency rating scales may be the best choice when developing and administering PROMS for paediatric populations.