New Initiative to Focus Year-long Efforts into Improving Children’s Vision and Eye Health
Prevent Blindness has declared 2022 the “Year of Children’s Vision.” The goal is to highlight and address the diverse and critical vision and eye health needs of children and to improve outcomes through advocacy, public health, education, and awareness. Common vision disorders in children include amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), and refractive error, including myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
According to the recent report, “Children’s Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues,” from the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH), vision plays a critical role in children’s physical, cognitive, and social development. Yet, up to one in 5 young children has an undiagnosed vision disorder. Unfortunately, uncorrected vision disorders remain common, and can impair child development, interfere with learning, reduce quality of life, and even lead to permanent vision loss. Common children’s vision problems include refractive errors, strabismus, and amblyopia.
Additionally, the annual economic costs of children’s vision disorders are approximately $10 billion in the United States alone, with families shouldering a significant portion of the costs, including medical care, vision aids and devices and more.
To help address these concerns, Prevent Blindness will embark on a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the Year of Children’s Vision, including but not limited to:
- Provide families, caregivers, and professionals with free educational materials and resources on a variety of eye health topics including visual disorders and eye safety recommendations.
- Continue efforts to inform and work with policymakers on opportunities to address children’s vision and eye health as part of early childhood development, education, health equity, and public health.
- Conduct a series of free webinars, hosted by the NCCVEH, including topics such as vision health of children with special needs, and workshops from the Better Vision Together community and state coalitions.
- Expand the reach of the NCCVEH-convened Children’s Vision Equity Alliance.
- Lead efforts to promote new research into children’s eye and vision health.
- Launch various social media campaigns on specific children’s vision topics and issues. Campaigns to include the #YOCV in posts. Followers will be asked to include the hashtag in their posts.
- Conduct various programs throughout the Prevent Blindness affiliate network dedicated to advancing children’s vision, including vision screening events and health fairs, Person of Vision award ceremonies, recognition of state and local advocates, and more.
“In 1908, Prevent Blindness was founded as a public health agency dedicated to saving sight in newborns. Through the decades, we’ve greatly expanded our mission to address a variety of children’s vision issues, including the role that healthy vision plays in learning, health disparities and access to care for minority populations, and advocating for funding to support research and programs,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.
Added Todd, “We look forward to 2022 and the Year of Children’s Vision, and invite all those interested in supporting this important cause to contact us today to help us provide a brighter future for our kids.”
For information on partnering or sponsorship opportunities for the Year of Children’s Vision, please contact Kate Desulis, Prevent Blindness Director of Development, at [email protected].