Studies have shown that children with special needs tend to have their first dental or eye checks later than their able-bodied peers. Most children with special needs tend to have their first dental visit at about four or five years old, or when problems, such as pain or discomfort arise. This could be due to difficulties in finding paediatric specialists who are trained to treat children with special needs. This lack of information and support can have dire consequences. It could lead to long term damage to not only the child’s oral or eye health, but deterioration in his general health as well.
Parents were naturally delighted when SPD collaborated with Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s optometry students and volunteer dentists Dr Kiran Arora and Dr Teo Yoke Teng to provide vision screening and a talk on oral health to 32 young Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) clients and their caregivers at SPD@Jurong on 21 November.
The students helped to identify children who needed follow-up and referred them to the Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Optometry Centre. If a child was found to require eyeglass prescription, he would receive a free pair from Optometry Giving Sight, a non-profit organisation that is working in partnership with the Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Science.
Mr Zheng Shi Chun, whose five-year-old son Kai An attended the screening, was happy that such sessions were organised. “I am happy for this opportunity to check my son’s vision and it is also good exposure for him as he gets to meet the team of optometrists. The checks also assured us that his vision is good,” said Mr Zheng.
Dentists Dr Kiran and Dr Teo were also at the centre to give tips to parents and caregivers on good oral hygiene for children.
A big thank you to all our volunteers for minding our children’s wellness.