Eye health in schools

Providing eye care to school children in Grangetown.

Child having an eye test

The idea

Previous research has shown that 20% of children struggle to read due to vision loss and 1 in 4 children have undetected vision loss.

Often children do not realise they have problems with their vision because they think how they see is how everyone else sees. They learn to compensate for their vision problems without fixing them, which can lead to more problems in school and later in life.

Unfortunately, some students are misdiagnosed as having a learning disability or behavioural problems when they may simply have vision impairment. This confusion can be eliminated by taking a child for a free eye test at the local opticians.

Ethnic minority communities are more susceptible to sight loss and less engaged with eye care. Grangetown, being a diverse community, is a good place to educate and engage people with eye-care to prevent sight loss.

This project aims to engage with primary schools in Grangetown, helping children and their families realise the importance of eye care by providing the schools with information and free eye care vouchers for all students.

Progress

Teachers from local primary schools listened to a presentation on the project at the Community Gateway School's Advisory Panel and they all agreed that their students should take part. A date is now being set for school visits so that Dr Bablin Molik can address the students and vouchers are being created to issue to pupils to take home that can be used at local opticians in Grangetown.

Next steps

The project will take place over the summer of 2016 and will be reviewed through the collection of the vouchers from local opticians. The data and statistics will then be analysed and a report written up. There is also the potential for this project to be extended to nursery children and to other areas in Cardiff.