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109 W. Madison Mt. Ayr, IA 50854 View Location

Sep 28

Free Vision Screenings Available for Children on October 1

Free vision screenings provided by the Lions Club will be available at the Family Resource Center in Mt. Ayr on Thursday, October 1, from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm, for children age 6 months through pre-Kindergarten.  Registration forms will be on hand at the Resource Center the evening of the screenings.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “eye checks” at every child well-check visit typically starting at 6 months of age.  Minimum screening should be conducted at 6 months and again at 3 years.  It is estimated that 9,000 Iowa children under the age of 4 suffer from poor vision in one eye or both eyes.  If these problems are found early on, permanent vision loss can often be prevented.

Risk factors that can contribute to vision problems include intrauterine infection during pregnancy, use of drugs and/or alcohol during pregnancy, some medications that may have been used during pregnancy, premature birth, NICU stay, and a birth weight of less than 3.5 pounds.

Common eye problems to look for in children are excessive tearing that could indicate a blocked tear duct;  red or encrusted eyelids that signal an infection; and constant eye “turning” (in, out, up and down) and tilting head to one side that could indicate a problem with eye muscle control.  Other indications your child may have a vision problem include staring into space or intently at bright lights, rubbing eyes frequently, holding things very close to eyes to examine them, squinting, and for toddlers, complaining of headaches and having trouble with fine/gross motor skills.