Perry Lions test eyes of 105 preschoolers in annual screening event

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Screening a little girl's vision Monday are the Perry Lions Club KidSight team members Rick Hoesing, standing left, and John Andorf, seated center.

The Perry Lions Club is conducting its annual vision screening for Perry preschool students as part of 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 Perry Lions will screen the vision of about 105 Perry preschoolers this week at the New Opportunities Head Start Program, Perry Elementary School, Perry Child Development Center and Gingerbread Preschool at St. Patrick Catholic School.

Iowa Kidsight brings Lions Club volunteers together throughout Iowa to conduct vision screenings in their local communities. The results of the free exams are interpreted by trained staff at University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and returned to families for any needed follow up.

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

According to doctors, the first few years of a child’s life are critical in the development of good vision. A child’s vision should be checked yearly for conditions such as misaligned eves, cataracts and problems that need correction with eyeglasses.

Iowa Kidsight 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’s target population is children from 6 months of age through kindergarten, but the Perry Lions focus on preschool-age children. The Lions work closely with school nurses at each location.

The Perry Lions Club also finances eyeglasses for low-income students lacking other sources of support, and they have a hearing aid program for older Perry-area residents.

In the hallway of the St. Patrick Catholic School is a quotation from President John F. Kennedy: “Children are the world’s most valuable resources and the best hope for the future.” Kennedy made the statement before the U.S. Committee for UNICEF on July 25, 1963, according to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

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