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Health

04th Mar 2013

Opticians Offer Free Eye Tests For Children Aged Between 12 And 16

Opticians offering free exams in the hopes of improving children’s eyecare.

Sue Murphy

Opticians across the country have launched a campaign offering a free eye exam to children aged 12-16. The campaign has been introduced in the hopes of improving eyecare amongst children.

Eyezone represents over 100 opticians across the country and they have launched the campaign in reaction to a report which states over 10% of children up to the age of 12 need contact lenses or glasses, but this figure increases to over 20% for children up to the age of 16.

The opticians have called on the government to minimize the gap between 12 and 16 year olds. Currently, there is a scheme for eyecare up to the age of 12 where children receive two eye tests under the School Medical Scheme. When they turn 16, they can become eligible for support if their parent has a medical card.

 

However, the body is extremely concerned about the crucial time between 12 and 16 when eye problems have proven to double. Chairman for Eyezone, Diarmuid Keane commented: “The fact that the number wearing glass or contact lenses more than doubles between the ages of 12 and 16 highlights the critical importance of a well planned and dedicated scheme for this age group.”

Eyezone members are writing to the HSE and Minister for Health directly to address the issue. Local Opticians will also be raising the issue with their TDs and providing information for the public under the slogan “Mind the Gap”.

In the meantime, their members are offering free eye exams for the month of March for children in this age bracket. Details of opticians who are participating can be found here.

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