SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Approximately 80 percent of what a child learns is acquired through their vision. Studies show that children with uncorrected vision are more likely to drop out of school and may go on to face lifelong struggles with literacy, low self-esteem, unemployment, poverty, and crime. Stacy Drew, district school nurse, joined Don Hudson live in Good Morning Utah's studio to talk about the significance of getting your child's vision checked.
Research shows that uncorrected vision problems have a direct correlation to juvenile delinquency and behavior problems; up to 74 percent of juvenile offenders may have uncorrected vision problems. According to the National Institute for Literacy's 1998 report, The State of Literacy of America
, 70 percent of those incarcerated in this country are functionally illiterate.
Several other studies have shown that one in four American children suffer from vision problems and the number climbs as high as 50 percent in some inner-city communities. Research suggests 90 percent of those children are not wearing glasses/contacts or getting their vision corrected.
In order to detect these problems, early professional eye care or screenings are important. Most screenings performed in schools are for visual acuity alone and only accounts for a portion of the problems.
- Between 10 and 12 million children are suffering from some kind of visual disability.
- 25 percent of all children have a vision problem significant enough to affect learning.
- 74 percent of illiterate adults fail the vision screening test.
- Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States.
- 31 percent of children between ages six and 16 have had a comprehensive eye examination within the past year.
- Only 14 percent under the age of six have had an eye examination.
Signs and symptoms:
- Sitting closely to the TV
- Holding objects closely to see them
- Difficulty learning
- Poor academic performance
- Feelings of failure
- Low self-esteem
- Short attention span
- Discipline problems
- Lost desire to read or study
The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests that children in the following age ranges should undergo screening:
- Newborn to three months
- Six to 12 months
- Three years of age
- Five years of age
Reasons that screenings are not being performed
- Patent's inability to pay
- No insurance
- Lack of knowledge or awareness of problem
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