A GROUP of young children from Focus on Family learnt about taking care of their eyes during a visit to a Coleraine opticians.
Focus on family, a group which delivers childcare services on behalf of Coleraine SureStart Partnership, took 12 children on a visit to Coleraine Specsavers for an educational fun-filled morning.
The children took turns trying on glasses, learning about the look and feel of contact lenses, seeing how glasses are made and most importantly, learning about the importance of looking after their eyes.
For many of the children, this was their first ever visit to an opticians. The Specsavers team hoped to raise awareness about the importance of regular eye tests, especially in children.
They explained to the SureStart group about how a simple eye test can detect a number of conditions at very early stages. They also wanted to reassure parents that they can be confident that their child will receive a thorough eye examination by a qualified and experienced optometrist. The group spent just over an hour in the store, and each child received a Specsavers goody bag to take home.
Judith Ball, store director at Specsavers, Coleraine says: “We recommend that children have their first eye examination at around three years old or as soon as they can match pictures or point at things, as the earlier many common childhood vision problems are discovered the better the chance of correcting them.”
Good eyesight is one of the most important tools in a child’s learning and if it is not in perfect condition it can often be mistaken for learning difficulties in young children. Around 80% of everything a child learns is through their vision, so even a minor problem with a child’s sight can mean they suffer huge setbacks in their development at school.
Judith adds: “Frequent eye examinations are also essential to a person’s well-being. By making an eye test appear fun, we know that this will encourage children and parents alike to ensure that they look after their eye health, regardless of age and capabilities. Educating children at a young age on general eyecare is very important.”
Specsavers now offers SuperTough lenses as standard in all children’s glasses. The new lenses are made of Trivex and are proven to be far more impact-resistant and lighter than plastic or glass and offer 100 percent UV protection.
“Putting it simply, wearing glasses should not stop children from doing what they love and we’re so confident that we guarantee children and parents that the new SuperTough lenses will not break, crack or chip,” says Judith.
Eye examinations for children are paid for by the NHS up to the age of 16, or 19 if they are in full-time education. If children need glasses, the NHS contributes towards the cost.