The Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation will celebrate Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month this August by offering free vision screenings at the Texas County Back-To-School Fair on Tuesday, Aug. 6. The fair is at the Houston Elementary School gymnasium, and the foundation will offer free screenings from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The Foundation’s Children’s Vision Screening program (CVS) will help identify vision problems in children to prepare them for success in the classroom this school year.

Most parents think they could tell if their children had vision problems – they would sit too close to the T.V., squint while reading or complain about their fuzzy vision. However, many children with vision problems never display any outward symptoms nor discuss their poor eyesight. In fact, only 15 percent of preschoolers ever undergo a preventative eye exam, and those with undiagnosed vision problems can encounter difficulties learning in school or even suffer permanent vision loss.

Early detection and treatment are the keys to preventing childhood vision loss. In its 19 years of service, the Children’s Vision Screening program has identified more than 25,000 children at high risk for amblyopia (“lazy eye”) and other common vision problems. The free screenings are painless, non-invasive and take just minutes. The program’s automated system immediately reviews the screening results and produces a “pass” or “refer” report. Parents whose children are detected as having vision problems are then encouraged (“referred”) to take their children to an eye doctor for examination and any needed treatment. The American Optometric Association recommends that children receive full, dilated eye exams at six months, three years, just before first grade and every two years thereafter.

If you would like to speak with a representative from the foundation about CVS or other ways parents can protect their children’s sight this Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, please contact Clayton Clark at cclark@mlerf.orgor at 800-283-1982, ext. 115.

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