A visual health awareness campaign launches next week as figures are published showing more than one in 10 children in Northamptonshire have an undiagnosed eye condition.
A special analysis compiled for the annual National Eye Health Week has found 10,795 youngsters across the county have eye conditions.
The campaign, which runs from Monday September 19, to Sunday September 25, has been launched by Davis Optometrists in the county in a bid to encourage more people to have sight tests.
As part of the eye awareness campaign Davis, located in Rothwell, Kettering and Thrapston, has compiled a ready-made assembly presentation for teachers to download.
Kim Durden, a partner optometrist at Davis, said: “Our eyes are so important to us, it’s crucial we don’t take our sight for granted.
“Our message is clear; children need regular eye care to keep them healthy and ensure they reach their full potential.
“The fact that NHS eye exams for children are at a 10-year low is hugely disappointing – eye health should not be overlooked.
“Eyes and visual diagnosis can help increase their ability to study, improve their levels of reading ability, reduce inattentiveness and hyperactivity, provide early detection of Amblyopia (lazy eyes) and improve general health and well-being.
“We understand that people are busy and perhaps do not realise the importance of eye tests. But parents now have a golden opportunity to introduce eye tests into their routine by getting their children’s eyes tested in the preparation for the new school year.”
The statistics were worked out using the national average of children suffering from an undiagnosed eye condition alongside data from the 2011 census.
Staff from the optometrists will also distribute posters, leaflets and fact sheets to children’s centres, GP surgeries, pharmacies and local societies.
Social media will play a large role in the campaign this year with Davis encouraging people to promote eye health by posting close-up pictures of their eyes alongside #visionmatters on Twitter.
Davis will also be supporting the Fight for Sight charity by making a donation for every eye test carried out during the week.
For more information about the week, visit www.davisopticians.co.uk.