Lions Club of Batavia New York

Batavia Lions Provide Vision Screening for Pre K Children


Over the past two years, the Batavia Lions Club, through the Lions SEE (Screening Eyes Early) Program, has provided vision screening for several hundred pre-kindergarten age children throughout our community.  The program is an initiative of the Lions Clubs in New York State.  Its goal is to screen young children for vision problems that can lead to amblyopia, or “lazy eye”.  This is a condition that is noted by reduced vision not correctable by glasses or contact lenses and is not due to any eye disease.  When one eye is better than the other, the child will begin to stop using the weaker eye.  The brain, for some reason, does not fully acknowledge the images seen by the amblyopic eye.  This almost always affects only one eye but may manifest itself with reduction of vision in both eyes.  It is estimated that about three present of children under the age of six have some form of amblyopia.  This is not a condition that would be noted in a regular pre-school or kindergarten vision screening. 

Trained volunteers from the Batavia Lions Club screen the children’s eyes using a Welch-Allen SureSight Vision Screener.  This is a camera about the size of a box of cake mix that photographs the inside of the child’s eye.  Each eye is done separately and the entire process takes about 30 – 60 seconds for each child.  The pictures are taken from about 12 – 24 inches from the child’s eye.

The results are then printed out and attached to the parent permission forms which are forwarded to the Ross Eye Institute in Buffalo where they are reviewed by professional eye specialists for any potential problems.  Letters are send to parents from the Ross Eye Institute indicating either that their child did not show any vision problems that could lead to amblyopia or that there was some indication a problem might exist.  If there is a problem noted, they are simply asked to follow up with their family eye specialist.

The screening is a free community service provided by your Batavia Lions Club.  We contact area pre-schools and pre-kindergarten programs to ask if they would like to participate.  We are happy to be able to provide this service and help make certain that our youngest students have healthy vision as they begin their school experience.