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Pre-K Eye Exam Day Aug. 1: Good Sight for Kindergarten, at Perham Eye Clinic

August is Children's Vision Month, and the Minnesota Optometrist Association (MOA) has named August 1 as Pre-K Eye Exam Day, a statewide effort that is part of the Good Sight for Kindergarten campaign.

Participating MOA members will offer one-time, no-cost eye exams to 5 and 6 year olds entering kindergarten, either on Aug. 1 or at another date and time.

Dr. Tim Neitzke and Dr. Jeff Mackner, Perham Eye Clinic, are participating in the Pre-K Exam Day. Dr. Neitzke will be seeing kids on Aug. 20; Dr. Mackner on Aug. 23.

Contact the Perham Eye Clinic at 346-3310 to register a pre-kindergarten child.

"The goal of Pre-K Exam Day is to let families know that good vision is essential to learning, and every child needs to have a comprehensive eye exam before entering school," said Dr. Neitzke. "At least 25 percent of all school-age children have vision problems that impair their performance in school. This can be as many as 60 percent of children because vision problems can be confused with other disorders, and students may unnecessarily receive special education."

A vision screening is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam, because vision screenings generally test for distance acuity, or what a child can see at a distance of 20 feet. It does not test for eye function disorders and may miss astigmatism or blurred vision. A child who receives a 20/20 vision test result does not necessarily mean he or she can see to read.