Kristan Gross, the Global Executive Director of the Vision Impact Institute
Optometry Giving Sight is pleased to be a partner in the Kids See: Success program being initiated in collaboration with Vision Impact Institute and VSP Global. This article, authored by Kristan Gross, was published in the Huffington Post.
“This month, World Sight Day will bring global attention to blindness and vision impairment. Among the many important issues to talk about surrounding this annual day of awareness, children’s vision is a very, very big one.
The issue is so prevalent, in fact, that the Vision Impact Institute (VII) recently launched a new U.S. initiative, Kids See: Success, focused on educating parents, legislators, child advocacy groups, school nurses, teachers and administrators about the social, educational and future economic benefits of comprehensive eye exams for children prior to entering kindergarten.
Why this focus on children’s vision? Consider the numbers: According to Prevent Blindness America, more than 12.1 million school-age children suffer from vision problems, and only one in three children in the United States has received eye care services before age six. Since 80 percent of what a child learns before age 12 is through eyesight, the one in four American school-age children who have vision problems – if left untreated – could experience learning difficulties, personality and behavioral developmental issues, adjustment problems in school and, in some cases, become blind. Children who need vision correction have been misdiagnosed with learning disabilities, when all they needed was a simple pair of glasses. Today in the United States, 40 percent of kids with diagnosed learning disabilities have vision issues.”
Photo courtesy Vision Impact Institute