Huntington Lions Club and Kids Kampus team up to offer free vision screens to area children under 6 years old

The Lions Club of Huntington County in cooperation with the Indiana Lions Eye and Tissue Transplant Bank is once again partnering with Pathfinder Kids Kampus for Operation KidSight. On Friday, March 31, starting at 10 a.m. until approximately noon, members of the Lions Club will be providing free vision screenings at Pathfinder Kids Kampus, 435 Campus St. in Huntingon for children ages 12 months up to 6 years.

This event is open to any child in Huntington County and participating children will need written permission from parents or guardians to participate. Consent forms are available at Pathfinder Kids Kampus and can be completed the day of the screening. An appointment is not necessary. The cost of the vision screening is paid in full by the Lions Club of Huntington County.

The first few years of a child’s life are critical in the development of normal vision. A child with vision problems often does not realize the way they see the world is not the way everyone else sees it. Vision abnormalities in a child’s eyes may occur even when the eye appears to look normal. It is estimated that 3 to 4 percent of children have vision loss from undetected amblyopia, or what is commonly referred to as “lazy eye.” If problems are not detected early, a child’s vision may deteriorate to the point of irreversible blindness. Research indicates that 70 to 80 percent of what a child learns is visually acquired and there is evidence to suggest that children with undetected vision disorders are more likely to fail in school.

In order to be screened, a child must be old enough to fixate on a flashing light on a camera. This is typically possible after 1 year of age. The screening is targeted at children who are pre-verbal and who may not be able to describe to parents, teachers or doctors the fact that they do not have perfect vision. There are other tests, such as reading an eye chart, that are generally better for children over 5 years of age. Remember that the eyes are fully developed by age 6 and any screening and testing problems found after age 6 may be discovered too late for medical treatment.

For more information about the Lions Club Operation Kid Sight event at Pathfinder Kids Kampus, call Elizabeth Hire at 356-0123 or e-mail her at ehire@pathfinderservices.org.