Does Your Child Wear Glasses or a Patch? 33824

My 4-year-old, Lila, has done both. And when I found out she was farsighted, one of the first things I did was seek advice from other parents whose children wear glasses. My daughter's ophthalmologist was great for all of my medical concerns, but I found I had a ton of questions about day-to-day life. I discovered an amazing resource in Little Four Eyes, a site described as "a community for family and friends of little ones in glasses." The mom who runs it, Ann Zawistoski, was one of the first parents to respond to the many questions I posed in my first post. And I found myself relying on Little Four Eyes many times, particularly when Lila needed to wear a patch (which is a whole other ballgame) in addition to her glasses.

Ann, along with Kristin Ellsworth, founder of Peeps Eyewear (nice tagline: "For children who get to wear glasses"), organized the first-ever Great Glasses Play Day last year. It had two missions: to celebrate kids who wear glasses, and to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment for vision problems. As Kristin explains, "Ann and I both have children who need glasses. When they were in preschool, they were the only kids in their schools who wore glasses. In the U.S., although 1 in 20 preschoolers needs glasses, only 1 in 100 actually wears them. We dreamed for years of organizing an event like the Great Glasses Play Day, in order to empower kids, build communities, and educate parents. My daughter was never given a vision screening through her pediatrician or preschool, and I was not aware that preschoolers could have an eye exam. We're hoping the Great Glasses Play Day will increase awareness so that every child will have the vision screening or exam they need." For my part, I will forever be grateful to the pediatrician who originally suspected something was wrong with Lila's eyes, back when she was only 2 1/2.

The first Great Glasses Play Day was such a success last year, it's happening again this weekend, on Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4. You'll find a list of meetup locations here; if your area isn't on the list, you can still participate--you'll find creative ways to do it here.

As far as health problems go, my daughter's vision issues are minor. Believe me, I understand that. But wearing glasses makes life just a little more complicated and inconvenient for young children--so I love the idea of celebrating them with an event like this.