The first public service announcements in optical showed up around 1914, when American Optical (AO) began to expand its national advertising efforts and engage with the most important audience to reach children: parents.

The company’s ads for Wellsworth lenses stressed the need for eye exams and linked good vision with academic success. Appearing in The Saturday Evening Post in August 1925, the ad picturing the classroom setting was “the best piece of publicity” ever produced for the promotion of eye exams for children, according to AO. It impressed upon parents the handicap that poor eyesight placed on children and how corrected vision “invariably” resulted in “greater progress at school and better report cards.”

In the 1950s, Victory Optical’s advertising campaign for children focused on its children and teen eyewear, running ads during late summer in time for school.

Educating caregivers is a key component in treatment, according to Malcolm Mazow, MD, a Houston-based pediatric ophthalmologist who has been in practice since 1966. “Parents need to understand what the issues are and that surgery doesn’t correct the need for glasses necessarily,” Mazow said. “The most rewarding result of my care is to see a young child with a vision issue and see them grow up with normal vision and live a fruitful life.”


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