To mark National Eye Health Week (13 –19 June), the Health and Social Care Board, together with local optometrists, are highlighting the importance of children who wear glasses, wearing them at school.
Fiona North, Optometric Adviser with the Health and Social Care Board, said: “Almost 1 in 4 children who have glasses are not routinely wearing them at school – this was the finding from recent research carried out by the University of Ulster.
The Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction study, which evaluated many aspects of children’s eye health and vision in a recent study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, found that 24% of 6-7 year olds and 34% of 12-13 year old children sampled, failed to bring their glasses to school.”
Fiona continued: “It is important that children who require glasses wear their glasses all the time and especially at school. If your child is not using his/her glasses during school, this may cause difficulty in seeing the board or with reading and close tasks. It may also make their eyes tired or cause headaches and affect their concentration. Any of these problems can have a significant impact on a child’s education thus it is important that children who require glasses are encouraged to wear them.
Health Minister, Edwin Poots said: “As Minister for Health I cannot stress highly enough how important it is that people attend regular eye check ups in order to monitor and maintain their ocular health. It is particularly important that children, who wear glasses, wear them at school so that they can get the most out of their lessons and can keep up with the rest of the class. I am pleased to support the HSC Board’s initiative.”
The following advice is recommended to encourage and support children to wear their glasses:
It often takes time for your child to get used to the feel of the glasses and to adjust to the different vision but with encouragement they should be happy to wear them.
If you have any concerns at all about your child’s vision or their glasses, you should contact your optometrist for advice.