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Doctor Recommends Eye Screening As Standard For Young Students

By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Pamela Gallin, an ophthalmologist, with her colleagues recently conducted 2400 screenings of kids in three New York City schools and prescribed and distributed 450 free pairs of glasses to nearly one-fifth of the kids who had 20/40 vision - meaning that signs and chalkboards are blurry.

Many of these kids can't see the board but never thought to complain. And not only does poor vision affect learning, but Dr. Gallin cited a boy who was disruptive and when asked why he was talking, admitted asking other students what was on the board. When he got glasses his behavior changed.

In Philadelphia, the Eagles Youth Partnership has travelled to schools and health centers with an Eyemobile for nearly 20 years, finding one in five kids not able to read while 80% of teaching is in print.

Dr. Gallin recommends vision screenings be taken as seriously as vaccination requirements with uniform standards. Kids who can't see, can't learn. The Eagles agree.

Read more in The New York Times.

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