A local opticians has marked National Children’s Eye Health Month (24 October – 23 November) by spending the afternoon at Abercrombie Primary School speaking to students about the importance of caring for their eyes.

Meeting local students
Rachel Buxton and Vicki Bainbridge, from Specsavers in Chesterfield, covered topics such as how the eye works, how light impacts the eye and how best to look after your eyes.

The Specsavers team was joined by some slithery and scaly friends, as Zoolab brought along a snake and a lizard for the children to observe eye and ear health in animals.

The visit comes after research from Specsavers and the Royal National Institute of Blind People revealed around 20 per cent of school children still have an undiagnosed vision problem - despite eye tests being free with an NHS voucher. The State of the Nation’s Eye Health report also showed that 27 per cent of parents with children aged three to 16 said their children had never had an eye test.

The director speaks
‘We love getting out and about in the community and hope the children of Abercrombie Primary School enjoyed our visit – they certainly had lots of interesting questions to ask!’ said store director Vicki Bainbridge.

‘Good eye health plays such an important role in a child’s overall development, from enhancing their language and cognitive skills, to improving their social abilities when interacting with others. It’s surprising to learn that such a significant number of parents are leaving it so late before taking their child for an eye test.

‘Local educational efforts are vital in encouraging children and their parents to take their eye health seriously.’

Sign up your school
Specsavers has also provided free SchoolScreener EZ software, designed to help identify potential eyesight problems in schoolchildren. It is unique in being suitable for use with children as they progress through schooling up to age 18 and includes a colour vision test.

The software, created by Thomson Screening, has been designed to be operated by teachers or classroom assistants and is currently being used by more than 1,700 schools. It also has 35 different language options. Schools can also register to receive their free kit at screeningforschools.com.

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