By Nigel Little 

Anti-Bullying  Week runs from 14-18 November 2011 and highlights the efforts being made via a number of leading organisations to draw attention to this ongoing abuse suffered by many children. Whilst much attention has focused more recently on the rapidly growing phenomenon of cyber bullying - particularly via SMS and social networking sites such as Facebook - it remains the case that physical bullying both at school and beyond the school gates remains a major problem. Often, children are targeted for bullying because they are perceived to be weak either in terms of physical stature or because they appear to be inferior and glasses for children  who have some form of vision defect has frequently been a basis on which they have been singled out.

Various studies have identified that glasses for children  can be a causal factor in how an individual child encounters bullying. Most notably, the University of Bristol's long-running ‘Children of the ‘90's' research programme which covers some 6,500 children reported that wearing glasses or suffering other pronounced conditions such as amblyopia or strabismus led to the risk of overt bullying such as being hit or kicked increasing by 35%. The more often that children wore glasses or the more pronounced their strabismus, the more vulnerable they appeared to be. These findings were reinforced by a subsequent study covering 1,000 children sponsored by Specsavers which found that almost 50% of those who wore glasses were subject to playground taunting.

The Specsavers study struck a chord with fashion icon - and longstanding glasses wearer - Gok Kwan who said: "'Thousands of children are bullied every year because of the way they look, as I was myself, and I know only too well the pain and distress that this can cause. Kids can be very cruel without even realising it, attacking their schoolmates for everything from wearing glasses through to their weight, what they wear and where they live." One simple solution for parents whose children need their eyesight correcting is to consider wearing contact lenses instead of accepting that glasses for children  is the only solution. Children as young as 8 years old can readily adapt to wearing contact lenses but many opticians only recommend them at a much later stage of their adolescence when bullying may already have commenced.

Check if your child is suitable for ortho-k corrective contact lenses .

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