Last week Millbrook & District Lions Club members Linda Hughes, Bette and Paul Holder, Vicky Baley, Linda Lawrence, Ray Porteous and David Goode spent two days at North Cavan School providing complementary vision and hearing tests to all kindergarten students. The vision part of this annual program aims to identify children at risk of potentially having vision loss that is preventable and to notify parents of the need for a complete eye examination for those children who do not pass the screening, which is estimated to be one in six children tested. Early identification of vision and hearing issues can ensure corrective action is taken promptly, which helps students get the most from the school experience.
The screening program is free but relies on expensive vision and hearing equipment provided by the club which screens how well the child can see with each eye, how well he or she can see at a distance, and how well both eyes work together (depth perception). No physical contact or eye drops are required in the test delivery, and all students have provided parental permission to proceed. This screening can detect the presence of vision problems which could place children at risk for developing amblyopia (“lazy eye”), as well as vision problems that can delay reading and learning.
Hearing is screened with a sound test of both ears. The child wears headphones and is asked at increasingly lower audio levels to point to various pictures.
The results from both screening tests are sent home to the child’s parents/caregivers the same day. If the child’s results fall below the prescribed level, a recommendation is made that the child has a complete examination by a vision or hearing specialist. Annual eye examinations for school-aged children by a vision specialist are covered by OHIP.
The Millbrook Lions’ Club provide this service to all local elementary schools, including Millbrook South Cavan, North Cavan, James Strath, Roger Neilson, and St Alphonsus Catholic School. Thanks for another great service from this dedicated group of volunteers. KG