At Nichola C. Kennedy FAOI Optometrist, Kilcullen, we are offering free vision SCREENING to all 12-16 year olds for the month of May in conjunction with EyeZone to highlight another deficiency in the state Eyecare service.
In the state system the 1st vision test a child will receive is a screening in Junior or Senior infants, this test is based on being able to read capital letters (at age 5!!) and being able to see. It is carried out usually by public health nurses who are under immense time pressures given the large class sizes these days. If a child fails the screening they are referred for further investigation, the waiting time for this in our area is 42-48 months!! Too late for any child with a lazy eye. They then may be called back for review depending on their vision needs but this does not always follow through as children fall out of the system etc.
When the child finishes primary school the eyecare service discharges the child and they then have to continue their eyecare privately unless they are a medical card holder – when they turn 16 they can use their medical card, leaving a gap in Eyecare services for 12-16 year olds.
Ideally your child’s vision should be assessed before starting pre school as vision is essential to learning and yearly thereafter. Continuity of eyecare is vital in order to ensure that your child is reaching all their milestones in relation to their eyes development & health, vision development and ability to learn.
Don’t let your child life go by in a blur, get their eyes checked. 80% of what a child learns is learned through vision.
If you feel your teen is having vision problems, or if you simply would like to have their eyes & vision assessed, call us on 045-484643 to make an appointment.
Nichola is passionate about children’s eyecare, she has developed her skills and knowledge in the area of paediatric eyecare & has invested heavily in age appropriate equipment to assess children of all ages including special needs and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. (Other areas of interest to Nichola are visual stress and behavioural optometry)