Botany Optometrists are handing out free sunglasses to new entrants throughout East Tamaki and Flat Bush to keep young eyes protected.
David Lee, an Optometrist from Visique Optometrists, will be visiting four schools to hand out vouchers and educate teachers and parents about eye health.
"Eighty per cent of UV damage to the eyes is done before people turn 20, so we're really focused on getting children into the habit of protecting their eyes from UV damage," says David Lee.
"Likewise, 80 per cent of a child's learning is done visually, so it's really important that children start school each year with 20/20 vision and they know how to protect their eyes.
Some children up to 15 years of age are eligible for a subsidised eye examination, frames and lenses through Enable New Zealand.
If parents don't receive a voucher they can also bring their five year old son or daughter to Visique Botany Optometrists to collect a voucher and redeem a free pair of sunglasses.
Signs that your child may have a vision problem include:
- 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
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