It’s Father’s Day on Friday March 19 - so we’re celebrating the great fathers we have working at Specsavers Ópticas and sharing some of their stories and advice for looking after your kids’ eyes.

Guillermo Soler, optometrist at the Guardamar store is a father to twin teenage girls.

‘Being father of twins is an extraordinary and exhausting adventure,’ he says. ‘The responsibility and also the happiness of seeing them growing up is multiplied by two. When I get home after work and receive their hugs and see them jumping for joy to see me, it makes me so happy – it’s the best moment of my day.’

Hector Barberá, manager at the Torrevieja store is dad to Miguel, who is six years old and loves coming into the store, helping out and learning all about eyes. Hector explains: ‘I love being a father because it has given a new sense to my life. Being by his side, watching him grow and become his own little person makes me the happiest dad in the world.’

Marc Marmulla, senior optical dispenser at the Guardamar store and his wife are expecting their first child any time now, so this Father’s Day he’s reflecting on this next important chapter in his life. ‘Becoming a parent for the first time at 37, it’s just a great feeling that can’t really be described. One doesn’t know what to expect. Just think: strollers, bathtubs, diapers etc. For 40 weeks you’re just waiting and worrying about the next chapter! From the first doctor’s appointment until you hear the beating heart is an adventure and I think that being a parent is the nicest thing you can experience. We can’t wait to meet our new arrival.’

Taking care of our kids’ eyes

A recent Specsavers survey revealed that 87% of parents are concerned about their children spending too much time in front of screens, but they are unsure on how often their child should be taking a break from their devices, with more than a quarter (28%) thinking it should be every hour. To help parents to look after our kids’ eyes and answer your screen time worries, our super dads are offering these words of wisdom.

Optometrist Guillermo, from Guardamar, says: ‘Eyes can often become strained when focusing on screens for a long period which, while it is not usually serious, can be particularly uncomfortable. Similarly, if children’s eyes are fixated on a single object for a long period of time, such as a white board, this can also cause strain. Symptoms to look out for include eye discomfort, headaches, sore or tired eyes, difficulty focusing, dry eyes, blurred or double vision, and increased sensitivity to light.’

Guillermo, therefore, advises students to follow the 20:6:20 rule, getting children to look up/away from their screen and/or board every 20 minutes at something six metres away for at least 20 seconds, as this helps to relax the eye muscles.

Children are also encouraged to make the most of their breaks through outdoor time in the playground. Hector, at the Torrevieja store, explains, ‘Aerobic exercise is vital for children’s eye health as it increases essential oxygen supplies to the optic nerve and lowers pressure in the eyes. The outdoors also provides many things for us to look at and helps to prevent eyes straining when fixated on a single object for a prolonged period of time. In fact, studies have shown that if children just spend an extra hour outdoors a week, then their risk of developing myopia (shortsightedness) drops by 14%.’

Marc, from Guardamar, adds: ‘It’s also good general health advice for pupils to keep their water bottle topped up, particularly when students are stuck indoors in classrooms, the weather is particularly hot, or if the school has air-conditioning, as good hydration can help avoid dry eye.

On behalf of all our team we’d like to wish all the fathers out there a very Happy Father’s Day and welcome them and their kids in store for a free eye test to make sure the whole family’s eyes are healthy.

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