Eye checks for thousands of Kiwi kids

  • 06/11/2015

Thousands of low-decile Kiwi school children will soon be lining up for free eye checks thanks to a group of time-generous optometrists.

Alarm bells were sounded when a study revealed almost half of year four to seven students at a decile one school had eye conditions.

The results led optometrists to realise there could be thousands of children throughout the country struggling to see clearly.

Now, 60 optometrists will visit schools and screen children for a range of conditions including long and short sightedness, astigmatism, myopia and hyperopia.

The children will also receive donated frames and lenses from the Essilor Vision Foundation.

Director Tim Thurn said children with vision problems cannot perform well at school.

"Some will be misdiagnosed with behavioural problems when it is simply that they can't see what the teacher is writing on the board at the front of the class."

Screening will begin in about March 2016 at decile one and two schools throughout New Zealand.