Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » EYE-CARUMBA!

    Filed at 4:44 pm under by dcobranchi

    Yeah- some kids need glasses. And, some don’t yet know it. But this graf makes the blood run cold:

    All children in the city should undergo thorough vision testing when they’re first enrolled in school – to be enforced as aggressively as the requirement for immunizations – and be subjected to periodic rigorous screening through high school.

    Immunizations are enforced becasue the diseases are contagious. I’m pretty sure no one ever passed nearsightedness on to their neighbor.

    3 Responses to “EYE-CARUMBA!”

    Comment by
    April 25th, 2004
    at 6:21 pm

    If the school provides testing free of charge, then I have no issue with it.
    I remember they had vision testing when I was a kid in school. Everyone would troop into the nurse’s office and stare at the chart with E’s pointing in various directions.

    Basic vision testing is cheap. All it takes is an hour or so one afternoon, an eye chart pinned to a wall, and a teacher willing to take time out to administer the test. It won’t catch subtle vision problems, but it’ll catch the kids with the most serious issues
    Even good parents don’t always notice this kind of thing. The last time my dd really needed a new prescription, the clues were very subtle, ie, a sudden lack of interest in watching TV, bored squirming in the movie theatre, and a horrible sense of personal space – she kept pushing her face into ours, when she wanted to talk to us! If you didn’t know better, though, you might just assume you’ve got an antsy, pushy kid, not a near-sighted one. And dd, of course, had no clue there was anything at all wrong with her vision.

    So, I have to say I’m for basic eye testing in school. As long as the school has the kids in their care, they might as well make sure they can see the bulletin board.
    Basically, I’d object to the school weighing my child, or any sort of intrusive test (like urine or blood sampling, for example!), but I don’t mind eye tests, vaccinations, and regular lice checks.

    I don’t think teeth are the school’s concern, unless they’re causing the child pain. Does anyone remember those pills they used to give you that would turn the plaque on your teeth purple? 😉 I never saw the point of that.
    But, that said, I was still rather taken aback to see two of the children in my son’s kindy class going around with little black pegs for teeth, because their baby teeth had all rotted out of their mouth. Eeeew…
    I’m not sure what, if anything, anyone could do about that, but I did feel sorry for the two little girls. I’ve always wondered if their folks ever got their mouths fixed.

    Comment by
    April 25th, 2004
    at 10:06 pm

    “Does anyone remember those pills they used to give you that would turn the plaque on your teeth purple? 😉 I never saw the point of that.”

    That was to show you the areas that you missed when you brushed.

    I think this language is fairly interesting:
    “…be subjected to periodic rigorous screening through high school. ”

    Dang. What if a kid refuses to wear glasses for vanity’s sake, and can actually see well enough to get by? The “rigorous” part sounds kind of inflexible.

    How about “offer vision screening periodically through high school”? Hearing checks would be nice too.

    Comment by
    April 26th, 2004
    at 10:24 am

    I didn’t get glasses until 5th grade, though I could probably have used them for up to a year before; hey, I thought things far away were =supposed= to look fuzzy! I can’t remember if it was a regular physical or a school exam that caught it, though. We did have hearing tests every year, though, because those weren’t so widely available among doctors, because it requires special equipment. In Savannah, as well, these ladies would come in once a week to give us fluoride treatment, as the local water wasn’t fluoridated.

    These at least had something to do with health — the lice checks were more of an annoyance thing. Having lice just makes you itch, it doesn’t make you sick. My husband had trouble with school lice checks being used to specifically pick on the poor kids — they were the only ones ever sent home, even though the middle class kids had lice, too, and kept giving it to the poor kids. As the poor were the only ones checked, is it any wonder? (It took my husband threatening to shave his daughter’s head to get them to quit picking on her.)

    But back to the issue — I can see how having uncorrected vision can screw up one’s education. Luckily for me, I already knew the stuff I couldn’t read on the board – the only tragedy was my wasted time.