March 4, 2019: Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is partnering with the Lions Club to offer school-based vision screening to Senior Kindergarten (SK) students. The program will run at 10 schools, with roll-out throughout the month of March. Over the next year the program will expand to all schools in Wellington County, Dufferin County and the City of Guelph.
The screening will be administered by trained Lions Club volunteers and will be overseen by Public Health. The screening consists of three short and simple tests that can identify some risk factors for certain vision disorders, such as Amblyopia (sometimes called “lazy eye”), Reduced Stereopsis (inability to recognize depth), Strabismus (more commonly known as “eye turn”), Refractive Vision Disorder (common refractive errors are nearsightedness and farsightedness).
“Visual health is a critical part of a child’s overall health and well-being. If left untreated, vision problems may become serious and impact a child’s academic performance and confidence,” said Dr. Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “While vision screening is a great way to identify optical health concerns, we’d like to remind parents that it is not a replacement for a yearly comprehensive eye exam with a licensed optometrist.”
Parents and guardians of SK students at the participating schools will receive a pre-screening information leaflet before the screening date. It provides information about vision screening and advises them to contact Public Health if they have any questions, need assistance finding an eye doctor or wish to opt their child out of the Vision Screening Program.
The school-based vision screening program is in accordance with the Child Visual Health and Vision Screening Protocol, 2018 of the Ontario Public Health Standards (2018).
For more information about the Vision Screening, call the Public Health Let’s Talk Parenting phone line at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 3616 or visit www.wdgpublichealth.ca/vision-screening.
Chuck Ferguson, Manager of Communications
1-800-265-7293 ext. 4374