Students at Brown Primary received efficient state-mandated vision and hearing screen Nov. 15 due to a partnership between several area Lions Clubs for the third year in a row. Lions from Smithville, Bastrop, Flatonia and two clubs from La Grange volunteer.
Bluebonnet Lions Club of La Grange brings special eye exam equipment, the $6,000 PlusOptix S12C which the district can’t afford, for quick, non-contact testing for the young students. The students simply sit in a chair and look at the cartoon face painted on the hand-held machine six feet away.
“The Lions KidSight USA program is near and dear to our hearts,” said Jane Istre of Smithville Noon Lions Club. “It allows us to serve kids from six months to six years, and we help the nurses with their required testing.”
Last school year, the Lions Clubs went to 25 scheduled screenings. They have already surpassed that number this year.
That help is invaluable, said Brown Primary’s school nurse Deb Rose, LVN.
“It used to take all four nurses from each campus, and then we’d have to hire substitutes for each campus,” said Nurse Rose. “Now, they’ve come to help us, too, and things go very smoothly.
According to the PlusOptix website, the eye exam machine does a binocular reading on three measurements that takes less than one second. The child simply looks at the machine. With these measurement values, it is possible to detect the following most prevalent childhood vision disorders: farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism or blurred vision, unequal refractive power, unequal pupil size and eye misalignment.
With the measurements compared to age specific thresholds, a “Pass” or “Refer” vision screening result is displayed. Children with a “Refer” result need to be sent to an eye care professional for an eye examination.
“The sooner you catch any eye deficiencies, the better off a child will be,” said Mrs. Dale Throckmorton,
“By eight years, it’s permanent,” said Mrs. Istre.