by Cori Hilsgen
Early detection of children’s eye diseases can help prevent worsening symptoms. However, many children’s eyes do not get checked until they begin school.
That is why the St. Joseph Y2K Lions will be screening children’s eyes at the St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce Community Showcase from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, April 14 at Kennedy Community School, 1300 Jade Road, St. Joseph.
St. Joseph Y2K Lion Kathy Schmidt said the vision-screening machine can screen children from 6 months to 6 years of age. The machine is capable of detecting eye disorders that can lead to diseases such as amblyopia (lazy eye), astigmatism (blurred vision), myopia (near sightedness), hyperopia (far sightedness), anisometropia (unequal refractive power), strabismus (eye misalignment) and anisocoria (unequal pupil size).
Children can be screened while sitting on their parent’s lap or while sitting in a chair. The machine doesn’t touch the child and the screening takes just a matter of seconds if the child is able to sit still. Parents will need to sign a consent form.
If anything is detected during the screening, Lions members, who are trained to do the screening, will recommend the child see an eye specialist and will follow up with the child’s parent/guardian.
“We want kids to have the opportunity to be screened and diseases detected so they can get treated and prevent future vision problems,” Schmidt said.
The screening is provided free of charge through the 5D 5M Lions KidSight Vision Screening Program.
The first 300 families to attend the Community Showcase will receive an insulated grocery tote. More than 30 exhibitors plan to attend the event, which will offer a variety of activities including a youth talent stage from local schools, drone presentations, food vendors, product demonstrations, children’s activities and crafts and door-prize drawings.