Eye See a Dragon in the Glen (Includes 3D Glasses and Child’s Vision Test) Product Review
Optical Express recently supported children’s charity, Children 1st, to produce a book called, ‘Eye See a Dragon in the Glen,’ which is aimed at detecting early visual problems. Motherhood Diaries was offered the chance to review the visionary book and this is how we got on:
Optical Express/Children 1st Website and Social Media Links:
Website – http://www.opticalexpress.co.uk/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/opticalexpress
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OpticalExpress
Website – http://www.children1st.org.uk/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/children1st
Twitter – https://twitter.com/children1st
Where can you buy Eye See a Dragon in the Glen and how much does it cost?
You can buy this book on Amazon for £6.99.
Leyla Preston of www.motherhooddiaries.com (Mummy)
Eye See a Dragon in the Glen (Includes 3D Glasses and Child’s Vision Test) Product Review:
A brief insight into my family’s eye history. My dad wears very strong glasses (he’s short-sighted (where you can see things closer to you, but your sight struggles as the object moves further away. The technical term for short-sightedness is Myopia)). My mum is also short-sighted and wears very weak glasses, so she’s not too bad. This has resulted in all 4 of us siblings needing to wear glasses/contact lenses for Myopia, ranging from very weak (my brother) to very strong (my sister).
My husband’s dad is very short-sighted but has recently had laser surgery (which was successful), and his mum has perfect 20/20 vision. This has resulted in my husband and his brother being blessed with perfect vision (lucky them!). However, my husband may suffer slightly from colour blindness, which is the inability or decreased ability to perceive colour differences under normal lighting conditions.
Therefore, it may be inevitable that at least one of our kids will suffer from either myopia (most likely) or long sightedness (where you struggle to see things near to you, but the sight gets better as you look at the object from further away. The technical term for long-sightedness is Hyperopia)). Just to add to the mix, all of my immediate family also suffer from Astigmatism, which is a minor optical defect where our vision is blurred due to the shape of the eye resembling a rugby ball or a doughnut. This means that we end up with two focal points to focus the object’s image on the retina (those who do not suffer from Astigmatism should only have one focal point.)
So, to say that I was glad to receive Eye See a Dragon in the Glen to review is an understatement. It has been weighing heavily on my mind for a while now that Aron may be short-sighted. He holds my phone up very close to his face when he’s watching something, or he stands right in front of the TV (something I am later told is quite normal for kids his age). Also, his eye sometimes turns inwards after he has been focussing on something for too long. Optical Express were very generous in offering me, my husband and two boys an eye test (with an appointment made for my contact lens fittings), which I will be reviewing shortly. But, for now, I felt reassured that I was doing something about my sons’ eyes, even if it was in the form of a book for now.
Eye See a Dragon in the Glen tells the story of a troll hunting in The Highlands and was designed with two visual eye checks to detect vision issues in children from an early age. The checks include a Visual Acuity Test (VAT) to check that both eyes see clearly, and a Suppression Test (ST) with 3D glasses to check both eyes are working well together. The tests were designed, developed and validated by Vision Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Optical Express jumped at the opportunity of supporting the book, which was introduced as a unique charity initiative by Anne-Marie Cairns, Vice President of Clinical at Optos, and Ken Lewandowski of the Scottish Business Challenge.
“The idea to create a fun and interactive book for children to enjoy that will also help to detect any vision issues early on is a stroke of genius, which is completely aligned with our own mission to improve the standard of eye care across the UK.” John Morgan, Optical Express’ Business Development Director.
Optical Express is supporting the overall aims of the book by funding a large-scale print run and all proceeds from the sale of the book go to Children 1st.
When I first cast my eye over this book, it immediately took me back to a book I used to read as a child, but its name escapes me. It was about a friendly dragon in the forest and I thought this book would be about the same. But, when I turned the pages, I was very impressed with the clever graphics on display, expertly illustrated by one Holly Jameson.
Immediately Aron got to work, trying to phonetically read the title, but not quite understanding why ‘Eye’ was used instead of ‘I’.
Aron followed the wavy pattern of the words on the first page as I read them out slowly. I wondered whether the wavy pattern was designed to test whether the child can follow words that are not in a straight line.
The story starts with a red dragon, Mirren, whose eyes work best in the light and dawn is the time when dragons fly high and the sun is never too bright.
But, Trolls’ eyes are made for the shade as they live deep underground. Lochy the Brave decides to come up to the surface to play, but the light is too bright for his eyes, so he panics and can’t move away.
Aron was very intrigued as to why the light bothered Lochy’s eyes, and asked a series of questions related to the sensitivity of eyes:
‘Why did Lochy’s eyes hurt when he looked at the light?”
“Why did he cover his eyes?”
“Why is the sun so bright?”
“Why do Trolls live underground?”
Ok, maybe not the last question, but a perfectly acceptable question! Aron was actually quite empathetic towards Lochy, explaining that Lochy’s eyes hurt and that he needs to see a doctor. “Ah,” I said, “Well that’s what we need opticians for, to test our eyes so that we can check whether our eyes are hurt. They are doctors for the eyes.”
That sparked off a whole series of questions about opticians… we talked about testing eyes for about 5 minutes before I was able to get Aron to turn the next page, but I was secretly proud that I had sparked Aron’s interest about the health of his eyes and how he needed to look after them. On to the next page!
Mirren the dragon hears Lochy’s’ sad cry and, concerned that Lochy is in trouble, she ushers Lochy to the Eye Clinic at once for his eyes to be seen.
“Yes, he needs to go to the Eye Clinic!”
“Why?” I ask.
“Because he needs to check his eyes are not broken!”
That’s one way of putting it…
Mirren assures that even though Lochy can’t see her, help is at hand by a friend that lives far away. Mirren wants to take Lochy away from this glen and count to ten.
I asked Aron to point out the numbers as he counted to ten, which he completed correctly on the page. However, Aron is very proficient with numbers, so whether he can see the print or not is inconclusive. Nevertheless, he enjoyed counting to ten many times over!
Swoosh whoosh POP! Mirren and Lochy arrive at the Eye Clinic and EyeRon gets to work explaining the fun eye exams available. Lochy is still covering his eyes and Aidan is still fixated on the word, ‘POP!’ which he repeats over and over again with a huge grin on his face.
“What makes you happy…?” EyeRon asks.
“Hunting Dragons!” Lochy exclaims, which sends Mirren into a state of terror.
Nevertheless, the tests commence, starting with a fun game counting some broken rings on Mirren’s tummy, complete with some instructions to the parent/carer on how to administer the test to the child.
VAT Instructions to Parent/Carer:
- Hold the book normally (30 – 40cm in front of your child).
- Cover one of your child’s eyes with your hand.
- Ask your child to point (or count) all of the broken rings (Alternatively, point to the rings and ask if they are broken).
- Now cover the other eye and repeat the test.
Vision Test Results
“Searching for the Broken Rings.”
This will test the ability to see fine detail. Your child should be encouraged to find the smallest “broken ring” and should do equally well with the right and left eyes. A 3-year-old child should accurately identify 5 or more rings. From 4 – 5 years of age they should see all 7 correctly.
Aron had great fun counting and pointing to the broken rings, which he completed very successfully. He refused point blank for me to cover his eye, so he covered his left eye and then his right eye, following all the instructions I relayed to him. Aidan’s ears pricked up at the sound of Aron’s counting and decided to have a go himself. It was virtually impossible getting him to listen to me explain that I needed to cover one of his eyes before he started counting, so I just left him to it… This lasted for about 5 minutes before we could turn the page.
The next page was by far the most enjoyable page for the boys as they got to use the 3D Glasses supplied at the back of the book to test their colour vision.
- Make sure to put on your 3D Glasses.
- Now point to or count the dragons on the test card.
Vision Test Results
“3D Glasses Find the Dragons.”
This test checks that both of your child’s eyes are working well together. All 3 dragons should be visible with the glasses on. (Your child will see only two if his/her eyes are not working as well together).
I wasn’t surprised that the boys had the most fun trying out the 3D Glasses, but I did manage to get them to take the test properly. Aron successfully saw all 3 dragons and I even added a bonus game where if he covered the blue lens the blue dragon would disappear and if he covered the red lens the red dragon would disappear and there would be only two dragons left. Aron was intrigued! So, he took the test over and over and over and over again, even demanding Aidan take the test and yelling orders at him to “Cover the glasses!”
Aidan walked off to test other parts of the flat with the 3D Glasses…
EyeRon was happy that Lochy had completed all the tests and diagnosed that sunglasses were the best option to protect his eyes from the bright light, “to keep your eyes working their best!”
I repeated to Aron that wearing sunglasses during the day when the sun is out will protect his eyes from the bright light and I was happy that the book had delivered that message very well through fantastic illustration and easy to understand sentences.
The book concludes with Lochy realising that his rescuer was Mirren the dragon and he vowed to never go hunting for dragons with the trolls again. So off they went to play together as best of friends now that Lochy’s eyes were protected from the bright light.
What did I like most about Eye See the Dragon in the Glen?
I liked the clear message the book sends to parents and children about the importance of testing vision from an early age. Each page illustrates this message and respective tests beautifully, whilst maintaining that fun factor to keep the child focussed and entertained. The book also offers some very insightful information and guidance on testing your child’s vision at home and what the results may mean.
What to watch out for:
The book offers a caveat that, although its mission is to promote the importance of early vision testing in young children, it should never be used as a substitute for a comprehensive eye examination. Nevertheless, all of us thoroughly enjoyed the book and the lessons we learned were invaluable.
Other points to note:
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s vision you should contact your local optometrist straight away.
5 out of 5 for so many reasons, one of which is that the book offers a fantastic way of educating your child on vision testing and invites an interest into looking after their eyes to set them up for the future.
I’d like to thank Children 1st, OneVision and Optical Express for coming up with such a fantastic book to support children’s eye health and I will be supporting them wholeheartedly from now on – well done!
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