Naomi (5) champions good eye health for kids

Naomi Crawford from Antrim and Mairead McCann (left) from Specsavers in Antrim pictured helping to mark Children's Eye Health Week which ran at the start of November to help dispel the confusion around children's eye care.  (Submitted Pic.)
Naomi Crawford from Antrim and Mairead McCann (left) from Specsavers in Antrim pictured helping to mark Children's Eye Health Week which ran at the start of November to help dispel the confusion around children's eye care. (Submitted Pic.)

An Antrim five-year-old has been helping to champion good eye health during this year’s Children’s Eye Health Week.

Naomi Crawford started wearing glasses shortly before her first birthday and since then both she and big sister Chloe have been looked after by Specsavers Antrim.

When she was just three months old, Naomi suffered seizures and was diagnosed with a rare condition called polymicrogyria, which has affected the right side of her brain resulting in epilepsy, learning and mobility challenges.

As a toddler Naomi underwent surgery to help manage her epilepsy and the polymicrogyria has impacted on her vision.

Mum Tracy said: “Naomi also has astigmatism and needs to wear glasses all the time.

“Naomi is in a wheelchair but it doesn’t stop her from enjoying life and particularly school. She’s very sociable and loves choosing new specs and has selected sophisticated designer frames from Converse to Cath Kidston. Getting the right fit and frame to suit Naomi’s face is vital to help her with school work and overall development. Optometrist Davin, trainee dispensing optician Mairead McCann and all the staff are very patient and take their time to ensure both Naomi and myself are happy and that Naomi’s glasses stay in place.

“Because of Naomi’s condition she requires annual vision check-ups but as my older daughter also now wears glasses, I would urge parents to make sure they take their children regularly to an optician and don’t wait until a problem has manifested itself.”

As part of National Children’s Eye Health Week, new research commissioned by Specsavers shows that over two fifths of parents say their children haven’t had a test at an optician in the recommended last two years (41%). The YouGov poll of parents aged 18 and under, found that more than 30 per cent of parents say their children have never had an eye test at an optician.

Presenter Rochelle Humes, National Children’s Eye Health Week ambassador says: “As a mum myself I was shocked to learn so many parents haven’t taken their children for an eye test. My daughter actually really enjoyed hers, there’s nothing to be frightened of so no excuse not to take the test”