Pupils focus on eye health - and have eyes on the prize!

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Pupils at Windmill Integrated PS Dungannon recently took a fun peek into ‘The World of Eyes’, thanks to an exciting educational visit by McCrystal Opticians, the children’s eye care specialist.

Primary One pupils discovered the importance of looking after your eyes and explored what it’s like to visit the optician. The pupils were also challenged to ‘design a pair of glasses’ in a colouring competition with eye-themed Disney games and toys up for grabs as prizes.

Local Optometrist, Mr Noel McCrystal said: “It was a great morning’s fun with the wonderful P1 pupils and a special thanks to Principal Sandra Ferguson, P1 Teacher, Louise Jenkinson and Classroom Assistant, Vanda Tate for making it happen.”

“Behind the fun there is a very important message for children and parents – always look after your eyes from an early age. Recent UK statistics show that over half of children never attend their free annual eye check and research also suggests that 50% of children have visual problems which will cause underperformance in school. A free visit to an optometrist will easily address these issues before they become a problem.”

The fun and interactive event included a guest appearance from Monsters Inc. ‘Mike’ and a ‘fascinating facts’ quiz about eyes, including the world’s biggest animal eye and how many eyes a spider has. A giant eyeball also caused wide-eyed excitement as it was passed around the class for a closer look and spot prizes of novelty glasses created some extra spectacle on the day.

Mr Noel McCrystal added: “The eye develops critical brain connections in the first eight years of life and 80% of learning is visual for children up until the age of 12, so the importance of good eye health for primary school age children cannot be stressed enough. Quite often I see parents who have focused on extracurricular tuition before they even considered having their child’s eyes properly and thoroughly tested. A 20 minute eye test is simple, painless and at McCrystal Opticians we make it fun and friendly to help children feel safe and at ease. We also hope that little ones feel more comfortable about visiting the optician as a result of this event.”

All entries from the colouring in competition will be displayed at McCrystal Opticians in Scotch Street Centre, Dungannon. None of the kids went home empty handed, with McCrystal Opticians goody bags for each child on the day.