Pam Dudding-Burch Contributing writer
“If we could see the world through the eyes of a child, we could see the magic in everything,” is a quote from Chee Vai Tang.
The Craig County Child Care Center echoes that quote. On March 29, they welcomed Marian Bullard and Lowell Skelton, members of the Daleville/Fincastle Lions Club. “They came to perform free vision screening to all children enrolled that parents gave consent to participate,” Teresa Oliver, Executive Director shared.
The screening was free of charge and totally non-evasive. “Children as young as six months were able to sit on a lap of a childcare center staff member while the volunteers, using a hand-held device, instructed the child to look at the blinking lights. No drops are used and the whole process took about 20-30 seconds per child,” Oliver explained. “Not one child cried or seemed scared during the entire process and we were able to identify five to six children that typically would not have received vision services for several years.”
The device indicates if the child’s eyes are healthy or if there is a possible vision issue. If a possible issue or follow-up eye care was recommended, the child was given a letter informing parents of the particular finding. “The kids really thought the ‘little view finder’ like device was neat,” Oliver shared.
The screenings are part of the Sight for Kids partnership program that makes vision screenings affordability to children. “I was really impressed with the ability to accurately refer parents to an ophthalmologist for additional vision screenings, based on this highly technical device that is total non-evasive, non-threatening to children and really fast,” Oliver shared. “They are definitely a valuable service that we will use again.”
Bullard and Skelton shared that this possible early detection could be critical in a child’s educational success. “After all, a child that can’t see what’s being taught to them can’t grasp the concept.”
“We are proud to have partnered with such a wonderful organization as the Daleville/Fincastle Lions Club,” Oliver shared. “We sincerely Thank You!”