Kiwi kids are looking 'cool' and protecting their eyes as Visique dishes out free sunglasses this summer.
Record numbers of Kiwi school kids are donning sunglasses to protect their eyes against harmful UV exposure as part of Visique's popular Back to School campaign.
Kids, parents and teachers have embraced the nationwide campaign which launched at the start of the school term in February and involves Visique handing out free sunnies to 5 year old new entrants in over 660 schools across the country.
"Back to School is in its eighth year and we've been able to go out further afield than ever before to spread the word on eye health," says Visique optometrist, Melissa Hay. "It's more than giving away free sunglasses; it is about educating our youth, teachers and parents about the importance of protecting our eyes from the sun's harsh rays, especially when we are young."
Most parents are aware of the critical need to protect their children's skin from UV exposure, yet few insist their children wear sunglasses.
Through the Back to School campaign this year Visique has informed up to 175,000 students, 350,000 parents and more than 6,600 teachers about the importance of children's vision care and the impact it can ultimately have on the learning process. Visique optometrists have also taken the time to visit local schools in person to talk to children about looking after their eyes.
Research shows that that over 80% of a child's learning is done visually, so if that visual sense is not working effectively, the learning ability will be severely affected.
"Young eyes have larger pupils, which let more light into the inner parts of the eye, including harmful UV rays. This can lead to long-term eye damage and cataracts," says Hay. "That's why it's important to teach young children about self-care from an early age so that they make a conscious effort to look after their eyes."
Visique's free sunglasses for new entrants campaign is only running for another 10 days so for those who have not yet received their sunnies from school, there is still time.
"Visique practices are central to communities throughout New Zealand and we've chosen to support local schools. However, if a school has missed out, parents can come into a Visique practice to receive their own voucher while stocks last."
Visique is an established New Zealand network of independent qualified optometrists. 100% kiwi owned, www.visique.co.nz has been at the heart of New Zealand communities since 2000.
For more information about the Back to School campaign visit www.visique.co.nz