The Ontario Public Health Standards 2018 have mandated a stronger relationship with Boards of Education to ensure that school-aged children are prioritized for health promotion efforts and vision screening for all Senior Kindergarten students is one of the new requirements.
Our trained staff began screening in some of our local schools within the PVNCCDSB and KPRDSB in late February 2019. For the 2019-2020 school year, we plan to screen all local schools including private schools.
Vision screening consists of three non-invasive tests to detect risk factors for amblyopia (also known as “lazy eye”), reduced stereopsis (reduced depth perception between the two eyes) and/or strabismus (a problem with eye alignment) and refractive vision disorder (nearsightedness and farsightedness). This requirement aims to detect vision problems before they affect a child’s performance in school as children need healthy eyes and good vision to learn, read, write, see the board, use a computer, participate in sports and stay safe. Young children may not know they have a vision problem, they may assume everyone sees the way they do.
The tests are:
The HOTV Visual Acuity Chart with Crowding Bars
The Randot Preschool Stereotest
The Autorefractor ( a.k.a. “Smiley”)
Notices will be sent to parents/guardians 2-3 weeks in advance of the screening date. Similar to the oral health screening program provided by Peterborough Public Health, parents are informed, and consent is implied unless the parent notifies us they wish their child to be excluded.
Following the screening, Senior Kindergarten students will receive a notice to inform the parent/guardian that their child was screened and provide the recommended follow –up as required. A vision screening does not replace a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist. To find a local optometrist, please go to www.findaneyedoctor.ca. An eye exam with an optometrist is free of charge every 12 months up to 19 years of age with a valid OHIP card.
Funding options for glasses may also be available.