Specsavers has partnered with Magic Light Pictures to launch a Gruffalo eyewear range.
The Gruffalo range for children is now available in Specsavers stores nationwide and will be included in the Kids Two Free Pairs promotion which launched at the start of the month.
The offer will see children up to the age of 16 qualify for one pair of specs free from the NHS and a second pair from Specsavers free of charge, including prescription sunglasses.
This launch follows the results of an independent report that found more than two million children in the UK under the age of 13 have never had an eye test, despite the fact they are free for children on the NHS.
The study of 1,500 parents and teachers, conducted by Redshift Research, showed more than one in five children aged between one and 13 have never had an eye test, with the main reason given by their parents being that they ‘don’t seem to have a problem with their eyes’.
Figures also showed 73 per cent of teachers noticed a significant improvement in the quality of work and attention span of pupils who had recently started wearing glasses, but 76 per cent of the teachers feel there is a lack of awareness among parents as to when children should have a sight test.
The study also found that nine out of ten teachers said that they have at least one pupil in their class who wears glasses but a quarter of them believe there remains a stigma around wearing glasses that puts children off wearing them at school.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Specsavers on this great and unique project," said Daryl Shute, brand director at Magic Light Pictures.
"It is very important to us, with the Gruffalo range of books, to support children's literacy skills, which as the Specsavers study shows can be positively impacted from an early age with regular eye examinations and ensuring the appropriate measures are taken when required.
"Engaging with the book inspires so many young children and supports creativity and imagination, which are key values for the Gruffalo brand. We're really pleased to be introducing a fun new range of reading frames which we’re confident young children will enjoy wearing."
Specsavers’ clinical spokesperson, Dr Nigel Best, added: "Children cannot be relied on to realise when there is a problem with their eyes. Young children can be unaware of or unable to communicate to their parent what the problem is.
"In older children, vague symptoms, for example, poor attention when reading can indicate an eye problem. Most importantly though all children should have regular eye examinations at least once every two years by their local optician."
Lisa Rootes, head of partnerships at the National Literacy Trust said: "Parents and the home environment have the biggest impact on children’s literacy and communication development, greater than their teachers, child-minders or other influencers.
"It’s important for parents therefore to feel confident in supporting their child’s literacy development and to help them develop a love of reading.
"Reading books open up a whole new world for children – it’s fun and is shown to support their education which means they can go on to reach their full potential. The correct eyewear is a vital tool for some children to be able to read and the new Gruffalo eyewear range is a fantastic way to capture children’s interest in wearing glasses if necessary."