You can read lots of good press coverage of the Great Glasses Play Day here. But I am glad to bring you an interview with Ann and Kristin here. Enjoy! – Dr. Nate
Dr. Nate: How did the idea for the The Great Glasses Play Day come about?
Kristin: For me, it came about shortly after my daughter was diagnosed with strabismus and amblyopia. We were thankful her vision impairment was caught early. We had a positive attitude toward our daughter getting glasses. However, many of my friends’ and family’s reactions were less than enthusiastic. I wanted to change that. Our culture has shifted it’s attitude toward getting braces, why not glasses? I am hoping to do that with my ideas for children’s eyewear and I imagined a day when children will be running around parks and schools proudly wearing corrective eyewear and every parent will know about the importance of early child vision health.
Ann: When Zoe first got glasses, I kept hoping I’d run across some kind of play group or get together for kids with glasses, but never really found anything. Then I started Little Four Eyes, and the idea was always at the back of my mind. Here were all these wonderful people with kids in glasses, and we’re all connecting on line, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to get together in person? Especially for our kids who often don’t know other kids their age in glasses. The idea of a day to celebrate kids in glasses came up about year ago in the Little Four Eyes facebook group, so I started asking around if people were really interested. Kristin called me and said she’d always wanted to do something like this, and let’s make this happen! So we ended up combining the ideas, the day is really focused on celebrating our kids with glasses and their improved vision, and what better way to celebrate than to have ways of meeting in person and online?
There are a lot of great messages you are trying to convey about children’s vision and eyewear. If you could narrow it down to one, what would it be?
Ann: It’s similar for me. I hear from so many parents who have just learned that their child needs glasses, and they’re often very upset by the idea. I was too! I think it’s in part because there just isn’t recognition of how prevalent eye issues are and how important it is to treat them. I really want this day to focus (pun intended) on the positives of glasses and contacts and patching. How wonderful that most of these issues are treatable! How wonderful that our kids can see better!
This is truly an international event. How did the event in China get organized?
Are you planning on doing it again next year?
Ann: I cannot wait to do this again! The response has been great, and I think there’s a lot we can build on in future years! I really hope that we can have more in-person events so that more of us can meet and connect, but I look forward to expanding the online celebrations, too.
Kristin: I want to thank you, Nate, and all the organizations, companies, and innovators that take the time to help children and their families with their vision health. Every child has a right to see clearly, enjoy the world around them and learn all that they can from an early start. Healthy vision is truly a precious gift.