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University of Iowa News Release

Release: Sept. 22, 2003

Lions Screen Children For Eye Problems At Iowa Children's Museum 'Free Night'

Volunteers from the Lions Club based at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, along with volunteers from the Iowa City Host Lions Club and Iowa City Evening Lions Club, will conduct free vision screenings for young children from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26 at The Iowa Children's Museum in the Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville.

The screeners will test children between the ages of six months and four years. The event coincides with "Family Free Night" at Coral Ridge Mall, where admission to the Iowa Children's Museum and rides on the Mall carousel are free from 5 to 8 p.m.

The screening process helps detect conditions such as misaligned eyes, cataracts and problems that require correction with eyeglasses. These problems are not always evident by simply looking at a child. When eye problems go undetected and untreated, potential harm can occur and a child's vision may deteriorate to the point of irreversibility. The earlier these conditions are detected, the more easily and successfully they can be treated. It is estimated that as many as 7,800 children in Iowa under age four have poor vision in at least one eye.

The vision screening is non-invasive. Trained Lions Club volunteers use a special camera to take photographs of the children's eyes. Early detection through vision screening is a crucial step in protecting a child's eyesight.

The screenings will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. After a parent or guardian completes and signs a consent form, the Lions Club volunteers conduct the vision screenings. Specialists in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at UI Hospitals and Clinics then interpret the results. Parents will receive a report in about two to four weeks. If a possible vision problem is detected, parents will also receive a letter of referral for their child and a list of ophthalmologists and optometrists in their area.

Lions Club members across Iowa conduct vision screenings for young children through the Coming to Your Senses program. For more information, call the Coming to Your Senses office at 319-353-7616, or visit online at http://webeye.ophth.uiowa.edu/ctys, or contact the Iowa Children's Museum at 319-625-6255, or visit the museum online at http://www.theicm.org.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, Writer, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu