Young eyes saved from sun damage

LEE-ANNE EDWARDS
Last updated 09:57 19/02/2013
HUTglassesweb
LEE-ANNE EDWARDS

How do I look? Ava Kilner, left, and Lucie Wright try on their gifted sunglasses.

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Lower Hutt children are looking cool and protecting their eyes, thanks to Visique Optometrists.

Nick Burbery, optometrist and owner of Lower Hutt's Visique on High and Visique on Main in Upper Hutt, dropped in on Kelson School on Friday to deliver free sunglasses to the youngest pupils.

His message on the importance of protecting young eyes was a timely one given the answer to his first question - "Why do we wear sunglasses?"

"To look cool," one young lad answered.

"Yes, but even more importantly, to protect our eyes from UV damage," Mr Burbery said.

"Eighty per cent of UV damage to the eyes is done before people turn 20."

Though most parents are aware of the need to protect their children's skin from UV exposure, few insist their children wear sunglasses.

Children's eyes can be more susceptible to damage because their pupils are usually larger and their lenses clearer, which allows more UV light through.

Signs that your child might have visual problems include losing their place while reading, a tendency to rub their eyes, frequent headaches, a tendency to tilt their head to use one eye only.

Vouchers for free sunglasses for new entrants have been distributed to schools. If your 5-year-old has missed out on a voucher take them in to Visique to receive a free pair of sunglasses.

This is the ninth year Visique has offered new entrants in New Zealand free sunglasses.

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- Hutt News

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