Members of the Perry Lions Club began conducting their annual vision screenings Monday morning at the New Opportunities Head Start program in Perry and will continue testing all week at local daycare centers.
The free screenings are part of the club’s annual participation in the Iowa KidSight program, a joint project of the Lions Clubs of Iowa and the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.
The project aims to provide free, objective vision screening for infants and young children in all of Iowa’s 99 counties. They also seek to educate the public about the risk of undetected vision loss and identify ways to sustain similar vision screening programs across the state.
The program screens children from 6 months of age through kindergarten age, but the Perry Lions focus on preschool-age children. The Lions will test the vision of about 140 children this year at the New Opportunities Head Start Program, Perry Elementary School, the Perry Child Development Center and St. Patrick’s Catholic School.
About 15% of children either need retesting or later receive a notification from the University of Iowa that further medical examination is called for.
The Perry Lions also finances eyeglasses for low-income students lacking other sources of support, and they have a hearing aid program for older area residents.