Perry Lions Club tests eyes of local daycare youngsters

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Perry Lions John Andorf, seated, Jim McCauley, left, and Jack Shelker tested the vision of area youngsters this week in the Perry Lions Club annual KidSight program.

Members of the Perry Lions Club conducted vision screenings at Perry’s daycare centers this week as 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 6 months of age through kindergarten age, but the Perry Lions focus on preschool-age children. They work closely with Perry Elementary School Nurse Shelly Thompson.

The Lions tested the vision of about 170 children this year at the Perry Elementary School, the Perry Child Development Center, St. Patrick’s Catholic School and the Headstart Program at Crossroads Church in Perry.

About 15 percent of the children either need retesting or later receive a notification from the University of Iowa that further medical examination is called for.

A screening camera worth about $10,000 is loaned to the Perry club by the Panora Lions Club. 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.

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