National Children’s Eye Health month (24 October – 23 November) is well underway and Great Yarmouth opticians have honoured the initiative by providing their undivided attention to children and their eye health, running continuous children’s clinics and providing schools with potentially life saving equipment.
Making a song and dance
Located in the heart of the town in Market Place, the store began the month by inviting Great Yarmouth Children’s Theatre in store for free eye tests, essential advice on how to protect their vision and a complimentary goody bag full of useful information and fun treats.
Since then, the store have been running children’s clinics – where staff dedicate their time and efforts exclusively to educate and test children’s eye health - every day from Monday to Saturday from 3pm onwards.
But their efforts don’t stop there. So far the store has donated free SchoolScreener EZ software to both Peterhouse and Freethorpe Primary Schools.
The equipment entails a three-minute test of each child’s eyes, immediately identifying any potential problems with eyesight. It then automatically generates a report, which will be sent home to the child’s parents or carers to let them know what the next best step would be.
The importance of good eye health
Martin McCormack, store director, says: ‘Good eye health plays such an important role in a child’s overall development - be it enhancing their language and mental skills, to improving their social abilities when interacting with others. Therefore, it is shocking to learn that such a significant number of parents are leaving it so late before taking their child for an eye test.
‘The detection of common sight problems amongst children, such as a lazy eye, squint or short sightedness, can be treated more effectively provided they are spotted early enough - ideally before a child turns eight. However many parents are clearly still in the dark about how to protect their child’s vision.
‘The activity we’re doing is a great way to get the message out there and hopefully encourage more parents to take advantage of the free sight tests available to their children.’