Healthy Harold, the much-loved Australian children’s icon, has partnered with leading eye care retailer OPSM this September to teach kids about eye health and myopia. The partnership aims to address the need for early and regular eye health checks in children to help combat the common eye condition affecting one in four Aussies*.
One in five Australian kids currently experience eye problems in some form with myopia being the biggest eye health issue affecting children today.** It is estimated that by 2050, myopia will affect more than 50% of the world’s population***.
A recognisable figure to generations of Aussies growing up, in 2020 Healthy Harold will don his own specs for the first time in a bid to educate parents and kids on the issue of myopia – and share tips and advice to help curb the cause.
Carl James, OPSM Vice President Sales & Operations commented, “We believe that partnering with a well-known character like Healthy Harold, will help us spread the word about the importance of eye health in children, particularly when it comes to myopia. Myopia, commonly known as shortsightedness, is an eye condition which affects a child’s ability to see distant objects. OPSM stresses that early detection is crucial for correction, and if undetected, it can lead to further, more serious eye damage in later life”.
There are a number of signs to look out for in your child including distance vision becoming blurred, moving closer to the TV, reduced performance at school, complaints of headaches, tired eyes, and squinting eyes.
Kellie Sloane, CEO, Life Education says, “Life Education is a non-profit organization that empowers young people to make safer and healthier choices through education. We’re very excited to be partnering with OPSM to help raise awareness of the importance of looking after your eyesight, especially when screen time has become such a big issue in today’s society. And Healthy Harold, our mascot, will help us encourage Australian kids to look after their eye health”.
*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016. Australia’s health 2016. Australia’s health series no. 15. Cat.no.AUS 199. Canberra: AIHW. Adults stats section 3.15 pg 117. Child stats section 5.4, pg 3
***The impact of myopia and high myopia: Report of the Joint World Health Organization – Brien Holden Vision Institute Global Scientific Meeting on Myopia. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. 16-18 March 2015