The Lions Iowa Kid Sight program provides free vision screenings for children ages 6 months to 6 years old. More than 50,000 children in Iowa have been screened in Iowa with more than 3,000 children screened in Creston.
The program, previously called “Coming to Your Senses,” began in 2000.
Tom Braymen, Creston Lions Club member and Treasurer, has been involved with the program since 2004. He travels to preschools, childcare centers and daycares in Creston and surrounding towns to provide vision screenings to children. Screenings are focused on preschool-age children but can be done for children as young as 6-months-old.
To complete the screening, Braymen uses a camera to photograph the child’s eyes. The process takes approximately one to two minutes. The photograph is then sent to Iowa City where specialists analyze the images to determine if a follow-up exam is needed. If it is determined that a child needs a follow-up exam, the parents are notified. Up to 10 percent of children screened are referred for a follow-up eye exam.
Vision conditions that can be detected by the screen include: anisometropia, astigmatism, hyperopia, myopia, anomalous corneal reflexes and anisocoria.
The screenings are 85 to 90 percent accurate in detecting vision problems. Regardless of the results of the screening, a vision screen or eye exam should be completed annually to detect any changes in vision.
Breyman said if people aren’t able to afford glasses for their child after a follow-up eye exam, the Lions Club has limited funding to pay up to $150 for glasses. The funding for glasses is available to both children and adults.
This Kid Sight vision screening is one of three types approved by the state required for children going into kindergarten.
“With the advent of the state law that requires all the kindergarteners to be tested, this is the most inexpensive way,” Braymen said.
Most of the screenings Braymen conducts are between September and December because it’s easier at the beginnging of the school year.
“If anybody wants to have their kids tested all you got to do is let me know,” Braymen said.
If parents feel their child is in need of a vision screening or would like to set up a screening, Braymen can be contacted by phone at 641-782-5500.