In Ireland approximately 10% of children up to the age of 12 require glasses or contact lenses, while more than 20% do so by the age of 16. There is no specific scheme in place for 12-16 year olds during these crucial years of change. When children reach 16 they can become eligible for support if their parent has a medical card. But this gap in eye care exists during this crucial time, when eye care problems for children double.
EyeZone opticians are launching a campaign calling on the government to close this gap in eye care services. This situation is unacceptable and EyeZone’s members are writing to the Minister for Health and HSE to address the issue immediately.
EyeZone Chairman Diarmuid Keane, said that under current services children are eligible for two State supported provided eye exams and some follow up treatments up to the age of 12. After this there are no specific schemes for 12-16 year olds, when they reach 16 they can become eligible for supports if their parent has a medical card.
However, Diarmuid said that approximately 10% of children up to the age of 12 require glasses or contact lenses, while more than 20% do by the age of 16.
“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.
At present when a child finishes Primary School there is a lack of clarity and definition on what eye care services they can receive and this varies greatly across the country. We need a specific scheme to target this age group which is reliable and consistent countrywide.”
Excerpt from Eyezone’s website, read the article in full here.
McLeish Optometrists is not quite an Eyezone member at this time, but in the spirit of their campaign, we too will provide all eye tests for 12 to 16 year olds free of charge for the month of March – just mention this post.