Did you know: About 80 per cent of what a child learns in school is information that is presented visually, according to the Canadian Association of Optometrists. However, vision problems may go undetected in early childhood because children cannot always recognize that they have vision problems.
The Grey Bruce Health Unit is partnering with District A-9 of Lions Club International to provide free, in-school vision screenings for senior kindergarten students at Bluewater District School Board and Bruce Grey Catholic District School Board schools during the school year.
The screenings will be conducted by trained Lions Club volunteers and overseen by Public Health. They will consist of three simple, non-invasive tests, designed to help identify the most common vision impairments in young children.
If your child attends public school in Grey or Bruce counties, letters from Public Health will be sent home by the school for your Senior Kindergarten child. The letter will provide information about the screening program.
If a child does not pass any one or more of these three screening tests, or meets one of the additional referral criteria, parents will receive a notification letter that indicates that there may be issues with the child’s vision. The letter urges parents to book an appointment for their child to see an optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam. In addition, a follow-up reminder letter will be sent to the parent. If a child passes all three of the screening tests, the parent will receive a notification letter indicating this and encouraging regular comprehensive eye exams with an optometrist.
The in-school vision screenings are not meant to replace annual comprehensive eye exams with an optometrist and are not designed to detect all vision problems.
To find a local optometrist, please visit www.findaneyedoctor.ca or 211. If you still need support, please contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit.
The following programs may assist you with the cost of prescription glasses.
According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, the following guidelines suggest the minimum frequency for an eye examination for individuals at low risk:
Frequency of Visits to an Optometrist
Birth to 24 months
An initial eye exam should be completed between the ages of 6 and 9 months
2-5 years old
At least one eye exam
6-19 years old
20-39 years old
Every 2 to 3 years
40-64 years old
Every 2 years
65+ years old
Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers the cost of a comprehensive eye examination once every 12 months for all children (0-19 years of age) who have a valid OHIP card.
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