U.S. Children Need Eye Exams – Kids See: Success Partnership

kids see successOptometry Giving Sight is very pleased to again be supporting the Vision Impact Institute’s Kids See: Successs program for 2020. This initiative was first launched and supported by Optometry Giving Sight in 2016 to fight for mandatory comprehensive eye exams for children as they enter kindergarten.

A comprehensive eye exam for young children as they enter school and is often overlooked and can be a critical piece to their success as a student. Without this, parents may be sending their children to school with an undetected vision condition that can impair development, interfere with learning, and contribute to behavioral issues. As 80 percent of learning takes place through our eyes, a comprehensive eye exam is the only way to ensure a child can see clearly and has healthy eyes that work properly.

To advocate for every child’s right to see clearly, the Vision Impact Institute created Kids See: Success, with the goal of educating parents, state and city legislatures, child advocacy groups, school nurses, teachers and administrators about the need for mandatory comprehensive eye exams prior to entering kindergarten.

According to the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, the economic costs of children’s vision disorders amount to $10 billion annually in the United States, taking into account the costs of medical care, vision aids and devices, caregivers, special education, vision screening programs, federal assistance programs and quality of life losses. In addition, children with untreated amblyopia will earn 12% less over their working lifetime than a treated child, according to the Children’s Eye Foundation.

While many states and cities require vision screenings prior to entering school, that is not enough. A comprehensive eye exam from an eye doctor is the best way to determine whether a child’s eyes are healthy and working properly. While vision screenings can detect some problems, more serious vision issues may go undetected, including binocular vision problems and amblyopia (lazy eye), which can cause vision loss in children. However, a comprehensive eye exam can help detect and treat these conditions earlier. A comprehensive eye exam can make the difference between poverty and opportunity, and we want to give all children that opportunity as early as possible.

With one in four children in the U.S. having an undetected vision condition, the Vision Impact Institute’s goal is to drastically improve this statistic and help provide all children with a level playing field. That is why Optometry Giving Sight has supported the Vision Impact Institute / Kids See: Success – to encourage cities and states across the U.S. to require a comprehensive eye exam for children entering kindergarten. Only through a comprehensive eye exam can parents and teachers ensure that a child’s eyes are healthy and working properly, and that he or she is equipped to learn.