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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582On-line version ISSN 1984-0462


LAPA, Maria Cecília S. et al. Embu Seeing Better: a complete eye health program proposal for preschool children. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2008, vol.26, n.2, pp.113-118. ISSN 1984-0462.

OBJECTIVE: Early detection and prompt treatment of ocular disorders in children are important to avoid lifelong visual impairment. This study aimed to describe a comprehensive eye health care program for preschool children. METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out focusing eye health conditions of 23,374 children, between five and seven years old, of the public preschool system of Embu, a municipality of Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 1994 to 2002. Data were obtained from preschool vision screening programs performed by teachers and from ocular assessments of all children referred to ophatalmologic and orthoptic evaluation. RESULTS: 600 preschool teachers qualified for eye problems screening tested 22,118 (95%) preschool children out of 23,374 that attended the school during the study period. Among them, 4,553 (21%) needed an ophthalmologic exam and 3,016 (66%) were examined by the ophthalmologist. Of those examined, 1,389 (46%) neceived spectacles, 477 (16.8%) were referred to orthoptic care and 1,601 (53%) were discharged. CONCLUSIONS: Visual screening programs are successful for promoting eye health. Teachers, if appropriately trained, are helpful eye care partners. For effective preventive pediatric eye care, it is necessary to promote eye health education programs.

Keywords : eye health; preschool education; intersectorial action; health promotion.

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