“Mandated eye exams not a cost-effective method to protect sight” headlined the Chicago Tribune’s Voice of the People on August 26, 2008. The next day, the Chicago Suntimes headlined my Letter to the Editor, “With new law, kids need not go without eye care.”
I’m shocked the Illinois Association of Ophthalmology (IAO) does not support required eye exams for children starting school. In their letter, the IAO applauds the Tribune for last week’s editorial, “We do not need another nanny-state mandate.”
The IAO states, “forcing every kindergartner in Illinois to obtain a comprehensive eye exam is not a cost-effective method to protect their sight.”
An eye exam is not a cost-effective method to protect a child’s sight? Illinois mandates health and dental exams three times during a child’s schooling to protect a child’s body and teeth. How could one eye exam, before a child starts learning to read and write, be wasteful for a child’s sight? Academic learning is estimated to be 80% visual.
The IAO favors “a less costly approach in which family physicians and pediatricians, who already provide school physical exams, would also conduct a careful vision and eye health examination.”
Ha! The “careful vision and eye health examination” supported by the IAO is really a vision screening. Don’t be fooled. Do you know vision screening does not diagnose vision problems? Only an examination by an eye doctor can.
Two of my children passed vision screenings with undetected vision problems by the school and pediatrician. I learned the “cost-effective method” doesn’t work.
As a parent, I want what’s best for our kids—an eye exam by an eye doctor. All parents, schools, and doctors should want the same.
What do you think of the IAO’s position?
Copyright (c) 2008 Vision First Foundation. All rights reserved.