PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Jillian Benoit in Jacksonville, Florida, had her eyes screened as a preschooler; no defects were found. In kindergarten, her teacher put a patch on one eye as part of a pirate’s costume and she fell down. With her good eye covered, she had no sight.
Prevent Blindness America is developing standards for vision screening because there are problems screenings cannot detect. Since 80% of what children learn is based on what they see, the American Optometric Association with other health professionals has endorsed comprehensive eye exams as key to school readiness.
Education Week reveals that only 3 states require complete eye exams for all school children; but with the average exam at nearly $100, costs seem prohibitive.
For 15 years, the Philadelphia Eagles Eye Mobile has screened kids at schools and clinics in the city and adjoining counties, giving those in need glasses and following up with complete exams by its three partner hospitals. Fourteen hundred children were screened on Give Kids Sight Day with free glasses last year. It is a model of service to the community.
Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio