Local opticians Specsavers Thurrock – Lakeside has committed to a year-long schools initiative this week, as part of National Children’s Eye Health Week.
The programme will see the store working with local authorities and education providers to build connections with schools across the district.
Optometrists from the store will give presentations at 20 schools during the coming academic year on the importance of eye health to explain how the eye and sight works.
Important work in schools
Jay Visrolia, store director at Specsavers Thurrock – Lakeside, said: ‘The work that we will be doing in schools is so important, not only to teach the children about eye health, but also to raise awareness among parents of the importance of regular eye tests for their children.
‘Nearly a third of children under 18 have never been for an eye test and early detection of any sight issues could prevent nearly half of all sight loss.’
It comes as new research shows more than two fifths of parents say their children haven’t had a test at an opticians in the recommended last two years.
The data has been released to mark the second annual National Children’s Eye Health Week, an initiative spearheaded by Specsavers to help dispel confusion around children’s eyecare.
50% don’t get eyes checked
The YouGov poll of parents of children aged 18 and under found that nearly half of parents don’t take their children to the opticians because they think there is nothing wrong with their eyes (44%), and many consider their children too young to go (41%).
Specsavers recommends that children are taken for their first eye test at the age of three, as some eye conditions that can be spotted during an eye test show no symptoms at all.