Prevent Blindness America has declared this month Children’s Eye Health and Safety month to inspire parents to make their child’s vision a priority. Healthy eyesight can help improve a child’s chance at success in the classroom.
The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for children. It is also a time when KidSight Colorado and parents can work together to give Colorado kids a healthy start. Our program is gearing up for the start of the new school year and will be conducting screenings and providing educational information on the importance of good vision in children to parents and the community beginning this month.
According to the recent Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States study from Prevent Blindness America, vision disorders in children ages 0-17 cost Americans more than $5.7 billion in direct and indirect costs. In Colorado those costs were $84 million. Vision loss and blindness come at a tremendous cost.
That is why it is important for us to increase our screening efforts for children 6 months through 6 years of age. We can help prevent some of these problems and their associated costs by early screening for conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, anisometropia (unequal refractive power), strabismus (misaligned eyes) and anisocoria (unequal pupil size). These conditions are often indicators of amblyopia (lazy eye) which can cause permanently poor vision or even blindness in children if not detected early.
If you know of a school or organization in Colorado that could benefit from a Colorado Lions KidSight Program (KidSight Colorado) vision screening please let me know and I am happy to make the arrangements. Let’s make sure all of Colorado’s kids have great vision as we begin the 2016-17 school year.
Please check out our website for additional resources about children’s eye health and safety or call us at 720-325-7078.
Holly Rutherford-Allen, Executive Director