Attention Parents!!! Be sure to make your appointment now to get your preschool child’s eyes examined soon so that you can meet this requirement. Kentucky law recognizes that the recommended time for your child’s first eye examination is three (3) years of age. Up to 13 % of kids 0-5 years of age have some type of vision condition. This increases to 25% after 5 years of age. All parents are encouraged to have their children’s eyes examined for amblyopia and other problems that may not be obvious to you or even your child’s teachers. Young children do not know that the way they see the world may not be the way it is. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent loss of sight from amblyopia. Unfortunately, one-half of all cases of amblyopia are not diagnosed until after age five when it is difficult to correct. Amblyopia is the leading cause of vision loss in people under age 40 – more than injuries or any other disease, yet it is almost 100% treatable if caught early enough.
Q. Why was this law passed?
A. In studying early childhood development, the Kentucky General Assembly identified problems with vision as one of the major factors in limiting children’s abilities to learn and succeed.
Q. Will the screening my pediatrician does meet this requirement?
A. NO. Kentucky law requires a true examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Q. What is the difference in a screening and an examination?
A. An examination is much more extensive than a screening. Specialized equipment and extensive training of your optometrist enable him/her to make definitive diagnosis of problems and prescribe treatment. Many eye conditions that can impact your child’s ability to see to learn can be missed during screenings.
Q. If my child’s eyes are examined at 3 years of age will that meet the requirement?
A. YES. However it is recommended that the child have another eye exam at 5 years of age in case of vision changes.
Q. Can I get this done at the Health Department?
A. NO. Health Departments are not equipped nor do they have eye doctors on staff to do a complete eye examination.
Q. Is there financial assistance available to help pay for these exams?
A. YES. Medicaid and KCHIP cover these services as well as many private insurance plans. Other programs are also available to help families meet these expenses. Ask our staff for information on the Kentucky Vision Project, Sight for Students and the Lion’s Club programs.
KY Vision Project – For more information call 1-800-320-2406
Sight for Students – For more information call 1-800-320-2406
K-Chip – To find the guidelines for qualification and how to apply for this state program visitÂ http://kidshealth.ky.gov/en/