Health Department launches free, in-school vision screening program for senior kindergarten students
DURHAM: Durham Region Health Department is excited to announce that as of January 2019, free, in-school vision screening for senior kindergarten students will be provided through the Health Department’s vision screening program.
Research from McMaster University and The Hospital for Sick Children conducted annually, indicates that as many as one in four Ontario school-aged children experience difficulties related to vision that can affect their learning and development, and 15,000 children have trouble learning to read just because they need glasses.
“Vision plays an important role in the learning process for all ages and we are particularly excited about implementing this program with children in senior kindergarten,” said Christine Gianoutsos, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “It’s an opportunity to identify and correct vision problems early to support student success in school.”
The Health Department’s school vision screening procedure is conducted by public health nurses who perform a series of non-invasive screening tests. The process is quick, easy and poses no risk to students. If parents wish to have their senior kindergarten child excluded from their school vision screening day, please call Durham Region Health Department at 905-668-7711, ext. 2216 or 1-800-372-1102.
It is important to note that the vision screening program does not replace an appointment with an optometrist and it is recommended that families follow-up with an optometrist for their child’s complete eye exam. The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommends that children have their first eye exam at six-months old, then another between the ages of two and three, followed with annual appointments thereafter. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers yearly comprehensive eye exams by an optometrist for children under the age of 19.
For more information on school vision screening, contact Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729, or visit durham.ca/schools.
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