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New vision screening program in Crawford County schools
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Crawford County Public Health and the local Zone 5 Lions Clubs (Prairie du Chien, Seneca, Gays Mills, Soldiers Grove, Seneca and Wauzeka) have partnered to purchase the Plusoptix Vision Screening camera with a mission to improve the detection of vision problems among children.

The purpose of the Crawford County Vision Screening Program is to identify treatable or preventable causes of commonly occurring visual problems in preschool and school–age children. Early detection of these problems can have an enormous educational and behavioral benefit, and certainly improves quality of life.

“The Plusoptix camera is a very sophisticated screening device that can quickly and easily provide reliable and objective screening results,” said Deanna Wallin-Sander, Crawford County Public Health Nurse.  With a quick “picture” the device instantly checks for a range of vision conditions.  An age dependent "pass" or "refer" screening result is provided immediately. A “refer” result indicates the child should see an eye care professional for a comprehensive exam. A “pass” result indicates eye health is good for now, but retest regularly as the eyes change with growth.

“The Plusoptix camera provides a much more comprehensive screening than a Snellen ‘E’ Chart that has been used for years for vision screening,” Wallin-Sander explained.

This past spring, Crawford County Public Health in cooperation with Zone 5 Lions, conducted vision screening for 609 preschool and school-age children in five Crawford County school districts. Of those students, 36 students were referred to see an eye care professional for a complete eye examination.

The enthusiasm from school nurses and teachers about the Crawford County Vision Screening Program and the effectiveness of the Plusoptix camera has been tremendous. Although the screening does not replace a comprehensive eye examination and can’t detect all diseases and conditions, it’s a huge improvement over the traditional vision screening.

“The Crawford County Public Health Department would like to thank the Zone 5 Lions Clubs for all they have done to benefit our students in Crawford County Schools and what they do for the entire community,” said Wallin-Sander. “We look forward to continuing our partnership for the benefit of our students. To be able to detect vision conditions that would have been missed in a traditional screening is wonderful.”

Vision has always been a priority for the Lions Club ever since Helen Keller challenged Lions to become ‘Knights of the Blind’ at their International Convention in 1925. Now, technology has brought a new tool to their mission and our Crawford County children will benefit from this partnership.