New Online Resource to Help Protect Children’s Sight

The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH) has partnered with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) to create a new online resource to support school nurses in the implementation of stronger vision health programs for the students they serve.NationalCenter_Logo_4c More than 12.1 million school-age children, or one in four, have some form of a vision problem which includes refractive errors such as near- and far-sightedness, astigmatism, and strabismus.   Significant vision problems can begin well before a child reaches school-age.  Vision impairments are common conditions, affecting 5 to 10 percent of all preschool-aged children.  According to the National Eye Institute, two to five percent of children ages three to five have amblyopia, three to four percent have strabismus, and 10-15 percent have significant refractive error.

The collaboration between NASN and the NCCVEH has resulted in materials that promote a standardized approach to vision and eye health, facilitates follow-up to eye care for children who do not pass vision screening, and provides family-friendly educational information.

“School nurses recognize the importance of good vision and its relationship to academic success for students.  The education, skills, and resources provided for school nurses will help prepare students who are healthy, safe, and ready to learn,” said Beth Mattey, president of the National Association of School Nurses. “The vision health webpage highlights how collectively, we optimize better health and better learning for students.”

Included online are free downloadable fact sheets, webinars from leading eye care professionals, a listing of vision care resources, and much more.  The materials are part of the NCCVEH developed “12 Components of a Strong Vision Health System of Care,” including:

1. Family Education

2. Comprehensive Communication/Approval Process

3. Vision Screening Tools and Procedures

4. Vision Health for Children with Special Healthcare Needs (CSHCN)

5. Standardized Approach for Re-Screening

6. Guidelines for Vision Screening Programs

7. Comprehensive Vision Screening Results

8. Systemized Approach to Follow-Up

9. Resources for Eye Care

10. Effective Communication with the Medical Home

11. Adherence to Treatment

12. Evaluation of Your Vision Health Program

“In many cases, school nurses are on the frontlines of helping to provide quality healthcare to our children,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Through this latest collaboration, we are able to offer comprehensive materials to effectively deliver the best chances of success for a lifetime of healthy vision for our kids.”

For more information about the vision and eye health resource from the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness  and the National Association of School Nurses, visit www.nasn.org/ToolsResources/VisionandEyeHealth

 About Prevent Blindness and its National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. In 2009, Prevent Blindness established the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, with funding and leadership support from the HRSA- Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Serving as a major resource for the establishment of a public health infrastructure, the National Center advances and promotes children’s vision and eye care, providing leadership and training to public entities throughout the United States. The National Center is advised by a committee of national experts and leaders from the fields of ophthalmology, optometry, pediatrics, nursing, family advocates and public health to guide the work and recommendations of the Center. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at www.preventblindness.org or www.facebook.com/preventblindness.

About the National Association of School Nurses

The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) is a nonprofit specialty nursing organization, organized in 1968 and incorporated in 1977, representing school nurses exclusively. NASN has nearly 16,000 members and 50 affiliates, including the District of Columbia and overseas. The mission of NASN is to optimize student health and learning by advancing the practice of school nursing. To learn more about NASN, please visit us on the Web at www.nasn.orgor call 866-627-6767.

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