Children`s Vision Day Marked by Release of New Survey Showing Overwhelming Support for Eye Exams for Children Starting School
...``lazy eye``) and even life-threatening conditions such as brain tumors....
Sep 25 12:22 PM ET
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Posted on: 09/25/2001
"Yahoo - Children's Vision Day Marked by Release of New Survey Showing Overwhelming Support for Eye Exams for Children Starting School"
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Tuesday September 25, 12:23 pm Eastern Time
Ohio Optometric Association
Children's Vision Day Marked by Release of New Survey Showing Overwhelming Support for Eye Exams for Children Starting School
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- September 26, 2001 is Children's
Vision Awareness Day and is marked by several events across Ohio. The Vision
Council of America (VCA) today released a new survey showing parents believe
-- by a four-to-one margin -- that a comprehensive eye exam should be required
for children entering their first year of school, and they would be willing to
take their child for such an exam.
These findings come at a time when a
number of states, including Ohio, are considering legislation that would
require kids to get a comprehensive eye exam before they enter Kindergarten.
"A vision test should be the first test any child should take -- even
before they set foot in the classroom," said Susan Taub, MD, member of the
Better Vision Institute -- an expert advisory panel to the VCA.
comprehensive exam a prerequisite to the first year of school helps our
children succeed and ensures that they are equipped for a lifetime of learning
According to the national survey, 92 percent of Americans would support a
requirement for an eye exam if insurance coverage was available or charitable
assistance was available for parents who could not otherwise afford the exam.
Typically, private health insurance plans cover eye exams, and for low-income
families exams are covered by Medicaid or a state's Children's Health
The national survey of 1,011 adults conducted July 11-15 also found that a
majority of Americans (89%) believe the simple vision screening -- a distance
vision test using the big "E" (Snellen) chart -- is not a sufficient test and
children should receive a comprehensive eye exam.
While vision screenings are
useful in diagnosing disorders relating to distance vision, they miss other
critical deficiencies that can impact a child's eye health and development
such as color vision or visual alignment.
These functions are critical to a
child's success in school, whether reading the blackboard, reading a book, or
learning on a computer.
Studies show that 80 percent of all learning during a child's first
12 years is obtained through vision.
Yet the American Public Health
Association reports 10 percent of all preschoolers and 25 percent of students
in Kindergarten through 6th grade -- one out of every four -- have vision
Last year Kentucky became the first state to pass a law requiring students
to get a comprehensive vision exam before starting school.
collected on 3,000 students revealed a wide variety of undiagnosed conditions,
ranging from a need for corrective glasses to diagnoses of sight-threatening
conditions such as amblyopia ("lazy eye") and even life-threatening conditions
such as brain tumors.
One-in-eight 5-year-olds and one-in-five 6-year-olds
were found to need glasses or other follow-up care.
VCA recently launched a campaign to encourage regular comprehensive eye
exams for children and adults.
For more information about this campaign visit
Parents can get a free copy of a brochure on eye health
by calling 1-800-424-8422.
Vision Council of America is a nonprofit trade association representing
the optical industry.
VCA is available to supply reporters with industry
statistics, product for photo shoots and expert spokespeople.
Ohio Optometric Association
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