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Dan and Julie Madden, club members, Mindy Helsley, Coppell Lions Club President, Tim Decker, SPOT vision screening Coordinator at Coppell Public Library for screening pre schoolers.

COPPELL LIONS CLUB PROVIDE NEW VISION SCREENING FOR 6 mo-6 Yr olds.

This year Lions Clubs International (LCI) is celebrating 100 Years of working together to improve communities.  LCI is now the world’s largest service organization, with more than 1.35 million members in more than 45,000 clubs all around the globe.

One of many areas of focus includes aiding the blind and visually impaired. Lions clubs have provided vision clinics to detect and correct vision issues for many years.

Recently LCI began a program called KidSight USA, designed to safeguard the vision of children ages 6 months to 6 years. Lions clubs in North Texas can now offer vision screenings to children using state of the art technology devices call Spot Vision Screeners. These hand held, portable devices allow users to quickly and easily detect vision issues. Both eyes are screened at once from a nonthreatening 3-foot distance.

North Texas Lions clubs are partnering with local pre-schools, day cares, libraries and other organizations to provide free vision screenings. The Coppell Lions Club has partnered with the Coppell Library to provide screens to the young people that visit for their children’s programs. The club plans to partner with several pre-schools and day cares to provide the screenings as well.

Screenings are fast, easy and non-threatening to the kids. Parents fill out an application giving permission to perform the screen. There is no diagnosis provided, only test results that can aid with a professional diagnosis. A recommendation for a complete eye exam is made when indicated.

Why 6 months to 6 years old? The first few years of a child’s life are critical in the development of good vision. Children should have their vision checked for issues such as misaligned eyes, and problems that need correction with eyeglasses. These problems are not always evident by simply looking at a child. Young children often compensate for vision problems so well that parents, teachers, and pediatricians are unaware of a problem. Many common vision-robbing conditions such as “lazy eye” can be effectively treated if detected in a child’s formative years.

About 7-15% of kids screened will be referred for a follow-up exam by an eye-care professional. Approximately 5% of all children in this age group will have amblyopia, a treatable disorder than can result in permanently reduced vision when not addressed by an early age. The screening devices detect risk factors for amblyopia, such as strabismus (eyes that cross or wander out,) refractive errors and unequal vision between the two eyes, and potentially even more serious issues such as cataracts and eye cancer.

 The Coppell Lions Club look forward to providing this valuable service for many years to come. If you’re interested in learning more, or scheduling a screening, contact Tim Decker   timdecker@sbcglobal.net

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