You may not know it, but there is a grass-roots effort across the country to improve the vision care that children receive. Because there are many children through out the country that struggle in school due to undetected visual problems, there is a growing trend for individual states to require comprehensive visual evaluations for children before starting school. This is much like early dental visits to ensure that teeth come in correctly.
States such as Kentucky and North Carolina have been the front lines of this effort, with laws designed to make sure children have complete eye and vision examinations before starting school. Illinois has recently joined this growing group.
"Clear and comfortable vision is essential for learning, and
this new law will help Illinois children succeed and reach
their full potential," Ed Geppert, Jr., president of the Illinois
Federation of Teachers, said. "This measure will help
children read and see chalkboards more clearly. All Illinois
children deserve the tools they need to fulfill their potential,
and our students will benefit from this law."
With the exception of a Vision Therapy externship I did in Denver, Colorado, I received all of my Optometric training in Chicago, IL. During my Pediatric Vision residency, I saw many children who were in school who did not have the necessary clarity of vision or visual skills to reach their full academic potential. I enjoyed helping them, either by prescribing their first pair of glasses or making them more comfortable when they read by providing them with vision therapy. It is my hope that Florida will one day have a similar law in place that will ensure that all children in Florida have proper eyecare before enrolling in school. One major national initiative is the InfantSEE program, that I will write about later, that provides one no-cost visual assessment for any infant between 6 and 12 months old. This will benefit Florida's children by detecting visual issues before they become problems.
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Westchase, Tampa, FL