‘Give Kids Sight Day’ offers free eye exams, glasses in Philly

Some of Philadelphia’s thousands of underinsured children will get help with their vision this weekend.  Free eye exams and glasses will be provided as part of “Give Kids Sight Day”  on Saturday.

Colleen McCauley, health policy director for Public Citizens for Children and Youth, said improved vision can make a big difference in a child’s life. 

“It’s critical that children can see,” she said. “Much of what children and adults learn, we learn through seeing.” 

McCauley says it can be difficult for children to succeed in school if they can’t see the blackboard.  For example, “if a child is identified as having a behavioral problem because they can’t attend to what’s going on in the classroom because they can’t see, making sure that they have good vision health is an easy fix.”

McCauley said there are about 26,000 kids in Philadelphia who are uninsured.  “Those are the children we are particularly trying to reach with Give Kids Sight Day.  The kids who tend to have less insurance than other kids are teenaged and also kids whose parents are immigrants.”

Families can register starting at 8 a.m. at Jefferson University Hospital Alumni Hall at 10th and Locust streets.  Medical eye exams will be provided at Wills Eye Institute and Jefferson, and families will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointments are necessary. 

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