News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Parents Blind to the Importance of Their Child’s Eye Health

Parents Blind to the Importance of Their Child’s Eye Health
1 in 6 New Zealand school children have experienced eye problems 7 in 10 New Zealand parents are unaware of the frequency of children’s eye tests OPSM INTRODUCE THE WORLD’S FIRST EYE SCREENING BOOK AND APP FOR CHILDREN

In a bid to raise awareness of children’s eye health and improve the vision of children across New Zealand, OPSM has released Penny the Pirate, the world’s first children’s book and app that has turned eye screenings into a fun, interactive, illustrated book.*

Shocking new research^ uncovered by OPSM has revealed that Kiwi parents of children aged 3-10 aren’t prioritising their child’s vision like other health matters, with 1 in 10 children never having had their eyes tested. Amongst those parents, the most common reason for not getting their child’s eyes tested is because they are not aware that their child needs one (51%). More than 7 in 10 (74%) New Zealand parents (of kids 3-10yrs) did not have any knowledge or were unsure as to the recommended frequency of eye tests.

In response to these troubling statistics, and also in an attempt to reach children in remote locations, Penny the Pirate was brought to life in consultation with the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Zoe Smith, Senior New Zealand Optometrist at OPSM explains, “It is the first device available to help parents screen their children’s vision and eye health from the comfort of their own home. Designed for children aged 3-10 years old,Penny the Pirate combines the art of story telling with eye care.”

“80 per cent[i] of children’s learning is visual, however our new research has shown that a large percentage of parents are unaware of the importance and frequency of eye testing for their children and are oblivious to the adverse effects that neglecting eye tests could have on their children.”

“This year alone, the book is on track to help parents book half a million eye tests, helping an estimated 125,000 children with a previously undiagnosed vision problem,” added Smith.

New OPSM research uncovers ambivalence towards children’s eye health revealing:
• 1 in 6 children in New Zealand (aged 3-10) have experienced eye problems;
• New Zealand kids are less likely to have had their eyes tested in the past two years (63%) than to have been for a dental check-up (91%), or a GP visit (88%);
• More than 7 in 10 (74%) New Zealand parents (of kids 3-10yrs) did not have any knowledge or were unsure as to the recommended frequency of eye tests;
• Almost half (48%) are unaware that kids should get their eyes tested before they start primary school;
• Over half (51%) are unaware that disruptive behaviour at school can be a symptom of eye problems;
• A similar amount (53%) are unaware that underperforming at school can also be a symptom of eye problems.

Daryl Guest, Associate Professor from the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, The University of Melbourne comments:

“Working with OPSM’s leading optometrists we worked out a series of core vision screening tests for children that were effective, repeatable and fun. The book contains tests for distance vision, lazy eye, depth perception, and colour vision. These have been integrated throughout the book to keep the child engaged and designed so that a parent can comfortably conduct the vision screening.”

Zoe Smith continues, “In the past, treatments weren’t available that could correct vision problems but now if detected at a young age, most vision problems can be corrected with simple treatments such as and including eye exercises or wearing low prescription glasses for a short period of time.”

Penny the Pirate is available free from OPSM stores nationally. Alternatively it is available to download for free at the App store and Google Play, where registered users will be delivered the essential accompanying kit.

________________________________________
[i] American Optometric Association / www.aoa.org

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Werewolf: From The Lost Continent

It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Blue Eyed & Soulful

Last year’s Muscle Shoals documentary was a reminder that on some of soul music’s most hallowed tracks, the studio band consisted of a bunch of white guys from rural Alabama... More>>

ALSO:

Final Event - Number Crunching: NZ Fifth Best Performer At Commonwealth Games

With a haul of 45 medals, New Zealand has outperformed the best predictions of the world’s number crunchers by 440% and beaten our past performance at the Commonwealth Games by 11% per cent, according to a Massey University finance lecturer. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news