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Lions to offer vision screening at county fair

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 9:50 a.m. CDT

Osceola and Murray Lions will be offering free vision screening to children between the ages of six months to 48 months in the event center at Clarke County Fairgrounds 3 to 6 p.m. July 19. This screening qualifies for the new Iowa law that requires vision screening at least once before kindergarten.

Since 1925, Lions International have worked to aid the blind and visually impaired. With this in mind, Iowa KidSight was developed.

Iowa KidSight is a joint project of the Lions Clubs of Iowa and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. The project is dedicated to enhancing the early detection and treatment of vision impairments in Iowa’s young children through screening and public education.

Lori Short is program manager for KidSight. She said such screening is crucial. Near-sightedness, far-sightedness and muscle imbalance can all be detected through screening.

KidSight began photo screenings in 2000 and serves about 40,000 children annually, all through volunteers associated with about 370 Lions Clubs. The organization recently moved from film to digital technology. Costs for the screening is covered by fundraising through the clubs.

The area clubs share a camera with other area clubs and have most recently held screening clinics at The Village and HeadStart in Osceola.

The screening at the county fair will be done at the same time as the baby contest.

Forms will be available at the site and must be filled by the child’s parent or guardian. The actual screening is only a short time. Results of the child’s screening are evaluated at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Parents will be notified of the results of the screening in about four weeks. If a problem is detected the parent will be given a letter of referral with a list of ophthalmologists and optometrists in the area. Follow-up is provided by the KidSight program.

The Murray and Osceola Lions invite all parents or guardians of six to 48 month old children to take advantage of this free screening.

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