LAWRENCE CO. – Members of the four Lawrence County Lions Clubs (Bedford, Bedford Noon, Mitchell, and Fayetteville Community) have recently completed their ninth year of Operation KidSight vision screenings at 18 area preschool and childcare facilities.
Members completed screenings at North Lawrence Playful Pathways Preschool, St. Vincent Preschool and Kindergarten, Dive Christian Preschool, Calvary Lutheran Preschool, Free Methodist Preschool, In His Hands Preschool at Old Union Church, Crossroads Daycare Ministries, J C’s Christian Preschool and Kindergarten, Restoration Child Care & Preschool, Hatfield Preschool, Tiny Persimmon Preschool, Lollipops and Rainbows Preschool, Grace Childcare Ministries, Lawrence County Independent Schools Kindergarten, Stone City Christian Kindergarten, Where Futures Begin Preschool, Springville Community Academy Kindergarten, and Cornerstone Preschool.
These screenings are provided at no cost to the child, parents, or facility where the screenings are performed. This year the 14 Lions who volunteered screened a total of 389 children, with 34 children being referred for further examination by an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.
The vision screening system they used is a PlusOptix S12 camera system, which was new last year after the Bedford Lions received a matching grant from the Lawrence County Community Foundation, to help purchase this system. This system works by taking a digital picture of the child’s eyes from a distance of three feet. An invisible infrared light projects through the pupils onto the retinas and, depending on the refractive error or prescription of the eyes, the reflected light forms a specific brightness pattern within the pupils, which the PlusOptix software analyzes to detect nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, lazy eye, eye misalignment, and imbalance between the eyes.
After the child is screened, a report is generated and sent in and reviewed by the Operation KidSight staff in Indianapolis. Then, the results are sent out to the sponsoring vision screening site, who reviews them with the parents with any referrals and explanation of any vision problems found.
The first few years of a child’s life are critical in the development of normal vision. A child with vision problems often does not realize they can’t see properly, even when their eyes appear to look normal. Many eye problems when caught early enough can be completely corrected and the earlier they are diagnosed, the better the chance for correction and the easier and less expensive the treatment will be.