As the start of a new school year approaches, ABDO has taken to the airwaves to educate parents on how best to look after their children’s eyes and vision.
Dispensing optician Daryl Newsome, an ABDO board member and examiner, has appeared on radio stations up and down the UK encouraging parents to book an eye examination for their child. The initiative also provided the opportunity for the Association to share the results from its latest consumer survey, which has revealed a lack of knowledge from some parents regarding their children’s eye health.
The radio interviews focused on the latest ABDO research with more than 2,000 UK parents with children aged up to 11 years. The research revealed that as many as one in three parents surveyed (33 per cent) thought their children should have their eyes examined for the first time when they started school. Additionally, one in seven parents surveyed believed that children needed to be at least five years old before they could have their eyes examined.
More findings from the survey showed that 20 per cent of parents surveyed believed children needed to be able to read in order to have their eyes examined. In fact, there are tests charts with pictures and shapes, and ways for the optometrist to assess a child’s vision even if they can’t cooperate. The last time ABDO asked this question of parents, in 2015, this figure was 15 per cent – suggesting a general decline in knowledge over the last half decade, said the Association.
Daryl commented: “ABDO uses radio as a way to reach out to consumers every year. It is five years since we last focused on children’s eyecare, and it is disappointing to see that parents are still lacking knowledge about how best to look after their children’s eyes.
“During the interviews, I spoke about signs that may indicate a child’s eye health is not developing as it should, reminded parents that children can have an eye exam, free of charge via the NHS, and explained that August was the ideal month to do this before they returned to school.”
Initial results showed that the ABDO radio day reached more than 28 million consumers UK wide.
The Association has produced an infographic highlighting the survey results.