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Visique offers all new entrants free sunglasses

Visique offers all new entrants free sunglasses

If your new entrant is starting school without a pair of sunglasses to protect their eyes, Visique wants to give them a pair. For the ninth year in a row Visique practices across the country are offering every five year-old new entrants free sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays.

From the 28th of January 2013 Visique optometrists will be visiting approximately 525 schools across New Zealand handing out health resources for teachers and vouchers for sunglasses. Parents can also bring their five year old son or daughter to their local Visique practice to receive a free pair of sunglasses.

Melissa Hay, Optometrist and Director at Visique, says sunglasses are just as important as a sun hat for children starting school this year.

“There is a long list of things that new entrants need when they start school and sunglasses are often bottom of the list, but they are so important.

“80 per cent of UV damage to the eyes is done before people turn 20, so it’s imperative that children learn to protect their eyes by wearing sunglasses and to get in the habit of protecting their eyes from UV damage.” says Melissa.

Throughout the campaign Visique optometrists will also be educating students, parents and teachers in their community about the importance of children’s vision care and what are the signs of vision problems in children.

“Research shows that 80 per cent of a child’s learning is done visually, so it’s really important that children start school with 20/20 vision.

“Sadly, one in every five New Zealand children, aged five to 12, suffers from treatable vision problems. So we really recommend that every child has a full eye examination before they start school to pick up any issues quickly.” adds Melissa. “A child that cannot see comfortably may struggle at school as their eyes are constantly tired and sore, affecting their concentration. We want to help decrease the number of children affected by poor eyesight so they are able to perform at their full potential.”

Last year Visique gave 2,800 children sunglasses and informed up to 175,000 students, 350,000 parents and more than 6,600 teachers about the importance of children’s vision care and the impact it can ultimately have on the learning process.

Some children under 15 years of age are eligible for a subsidised eye examination, frames and lenses through Enable New Zealand. All Visique practices in New Zealand are qualified to assess children for this subsidy which, depending on frame and lens choice, can cover the whole cost at Visique.

Signs that your child may have a vision problem are:

· Losing their place while reading or using fingers to maintain their place

· Avoiding close work particularly reading

· Holding reading materials closer than normal

· Tending to rub their eyes or have headaches

· One eye drifting or aiming in a different direction than the other

· Closing or covering one eye or squinting

· Omitting or confusing small words when reading

· Having a short attention span for their age

· Having poor hand-eye coordination for activities like playing with a ball

· Consistently performing below potential

-ENDS-

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