Vision difficulties are one of the most common child health problems in the United States and the most prevalent handicapping condition in childhood. Problems with children’s eyesight can start at an early age and can affect a child’s ability to learn, athletic performance and even self-esteem. Vision problems are often misdiagnosed as behavior problems or learning disabilities.
The good news is that vision loss can be avoided if problems are found and treated early. And Medical Assistance and CHIP cover eye exams and eye glasses. Some barriers exist, however, that prevent children from accessing vision care services. PCCY works to improve the visual health of the region’s children by engaging in multiple, interconnected efforts to improve children’s access to vision health care services.
PCCY’s Health Policy Director, Colleen McCauley, nominated for a Health Hero Award for her work on Vision Care describes a little more about our efforts in the video below:
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PCCY has achieved a victory for children’s vision! With the help of our partners and a letter signed by 497 Sight Day parents and volunteers, PCCY successfully advocated for CHIP to clarify their replacement glasses policy. CHIP now covers one pair of replacement glasses per year when they are lost, scratched or broken beyond repair. To help get the word out about this exciting new benefit, please distribute the flyer below to any interested parties.
Approximately two thirds (13,000) Philadelphia school students who fail a school nurse vision screen do not get a follow-up eye exam. School nurses report that one of the main reasons parents say they do not take their kids for follow-up care is because they do not know where to take them.
PCCY developed a Vision Care Guide to help parents, school nurses and counselors, health care providers and others who care for children access vision health care resources in Philadelphia. The guide lists over 100 eye care providers in the city that accept Medical Assistance and some programs that provide services to children who are uninsured or don’t have vision coverage.
Free Eye Care for Kids at Jefferson Alumni Hall on Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 8:30am to 1:00pm
For children 17 years and under, from Philadelphia and surrounding counties, who have not had, or who have not passed, an eye screening and/or who are uninsured. For more information email: email@example.com or call 215-563-5848 x21.
Click here to download English flyer
The flyer is also available in the following languages – click to download below:
Be a hero! Volunteer to help on Give Kids Sight Day.
Volunteers are needed to provide medical care, register children, entertain families and much more. Click here to download a flyer with more information that you can share.
- If you are interested in helping with registration, language interpretation, ambassador, data entry and the like, click here. Please note, we also have pre-event day opportunities in this link.
- If you are an ophthalmologist, optometrist, optician, technician, or an employee of Wills Eye or any eye-care facility, please click here.
Registration deadline: October 9th
About Give Kids Sight Day:
PCCY and our partners have helped connect over 7,700 children obtain free eye care services since 2009! That two thirds of Philadelphia school children who fail a school vision screening do not get a follow-up exam was unacceptable to child advocates. Building on PCCY’s successful Give Kids a Smile Day model of free dental care for kids, PCCY and our partners designed “Give Kids Sight Day” a day of free eye checks and eye glasses for children who need them.
You can also make a donation to support or work on children’s health.
Does your child need health insurance? PCCY’s Child Health Watch Helpline assists families in finding health insurance for their children. We help with applications for public health insurance, either Medical Assistance (MA) or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and to resolve enrollment problems. This service is free and is available in any language. Helpline staff also helps families find health care services such as primary care, dental, vision, and behavioral health care that they can access with or without insurance. Call PCCY’s Child Health Watch Helpline at 215-563-5848 x17 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.