A PUBLIC education programme jointly organised by the Action for Vision Eye Foundation (AFV) and The Outstanding Young Persons' Association (TOYPA) has been launched to promote eye care knowledge. The programme, titled Eye Care 108, is part of the Vision Possible Eye Care Campaign that kicked off in June. It includes the introduction of 108 eye care tips, cartoon episodes, comics, songs, videos and an exhibition based on various themes of eye protection. According to a recent survey conducted by AFV and TOYPA, more than 75 per cent of the 858 respondents did not know what the proper distance should be between their eyes and books or computer screens. It should be 40cm and 70cm, respectively. Also, many people do not know how to rest their eyes. 'To rest your eyes does not mean closing them. It is about looking at distant objects. You should do that for 30 seconds after every 30 minutes of work,' said Dennis Lam Shun-chiu, chairman of AFV and professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Other ways to rest your eyes include looking at green objects, flying a kite or observing birds. Professor Lam said more Hong Kong people, even kindergarten students, are wearing classes. About 50 per cent of the total population and 37 per cent of primary students are short-sighted. 'Compared with many countries, the problem of short-sightedness is especially severe among Asians, particularly the Chinese,' Prof Lam said. 'It is unlikely that people in New York use their eyes less than us, but their ratio [of population] suffering from short-sightedness is only 25 per cent, which is half of ours.' Chui Ka-kit, a bespectacled fifth-former at CCC Ming Kei College who won first prize in the senior section of the Eye Care 108 poster competition with his image of a cane, said he was born short-sighted. 'If you don't take good care of your eyes, you will need to rely on a cane to live your life,' said Chui. Basic Eye care tips: 1. The proper distance when watching TV should be at least six times the screen size 2. Conduct checks regularly on your eyes from the age of three 3. Clean your contact lenses regularly 4. Treat eye diseases or problems, such as lazy eye or a squint, as soon as possible. It is difficult to treat lazy eye after the age of nine. All 108 eye care tips and other information can be found on the campaign's website, www.EyeCQ.org .