Lions Club, Dr. Marshall keeping an eye on youth

The view through a child's eye is important and the Lions Club is doing its part to ensure that vision isn't hindered. “The goal of the Lion's Club has always been to help people, especially children, who have vision problems,” Tommy Mills, Lions Club member, said. Through the use of the Spot model VS100, club members are making their way to area schools and performing eye tests on kindergardeners. The Spot is powered by sophisticated technology that quickly detects the indication of near- and far-sightedness, unequal refractive power, blurred vision, eye structure problem, pupil size deviations and eye misalignment, according to information provided by the Lion's Club. The results of the vision test are given to a local optometrist, Dr. John Marshall, and reviewed. The first screenings were performed at Kentwood Elementary School on Feb. 28. During that visit, 27 students were screened. “Once we screen the students, which takes about a minute, we send the results to a doctor and the doctor looks over them and sends the results back to the school nurse,” Mills said. “After the parents receive the information they are the ones who make the decision of what to do with it.”In order to protect the children, parental permission is obtained for each of the students before the screening is performed. Another precaution the Lion's Club takes is only identifying the children by a number. “Our interest is the safety of the children and we want the parents to feel secure and understand what is going on before we go and perform the screenings,” Mills said. “At no time do we receive any information about the child or the parents for that matter. All we see is a number.”The next screening is scheduled Tuesday at Bauer Elementary. To find out more information about the Spot and the results it provides, contact Mills at 267-5151.