While many may feel that children have excellent vision simply because they are young and healthy, eye care professionals know better. With research showing between 5 and 10 percent of preschool aged children being affected by a vision impairment and 1 in 4 school-aged children having a vision impairment, several organizations dedicated to eye and vision health have declared 2014 as the Year of Children’s Vision.
The Year of Children’s Vision (YOCV) is a joint initiative formed by Prevent Blindness America (PBA), PBA’s National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, the National Head Start Association and other like-minded groups. The goal of the initiative is to help standardize the approach early childhood care and education programs take toward vision screenings for young children. Another goal is to make improvements in follow-up care for those that don’t pass vision screenings and providing educational materials for families, among others.
Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of PBA, said of the YOCV initiative:
“Our children depend on their eyes to learn and view the world around them. They also depend on us to make sure they have healthy vision and can reach their full potential. With this new, comprehensive program that brings together parents, early educators, and health professionals, we can help keep that promise to kids to work together to keep their futures bright.”
With this in mind, we encourage you to take the time to remind patients about the importance of scheduling routine eye exams for their kids. You may also consider including facts about kids’ vision and the issues most common among kids in your marketing materials. This will help inform parents and encourage them to schedule appointments.
Also, consider how our optomap® exam can benefit the children that visit your practice. The exam is pain-free and takes only seconds to capture the image of a child’s retina, providing a wider view and the ability to see many conditions in their earliest stages. Contact us for more information.