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Guard your child’s vision in this new school year | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
Brianna Ramon, 9, left, and Hayzle Feliciano, 10, both from New York hug after receiving their new eyeglasses. Young campers at Hands In 4 Youth/ Camp Vacamas in West Milford, N.Y., got the gift of sight, a free eye exam and prescription eyeglasses thanks to a partnership between the nonprofit Jonas Philanthropies and Vision To Learn this summer.
Brianna Ramon, 9, left, and Hayzle Feliciano, 10, both from New York hug after receiving their new eyeglasses. Young campers at Hands In 4 Youth/ Camp Vacamas in West Milford, N.Y., got the gift of sight, a free eye exam and prescription eyeglasses thanks to a partnership between the nonprofit Jonas Philanthropies and Vision To Learn this summer.
Published Aug. 26
Updated Aug. 26

Protect your child’s eyesight

Back to school

As parents and guardians sent their kids back to school this month, households everywhere worked to ensure their kids had the right supplies and support for a successful year. An item sometimes forgotten is ensuring your child has had a proper vision screening. Eighty percent of learning is visual, so this is particularly important. This month, the Florida Society of Ophthalmology has launched its annual campaign to bring awareness to amblyopia, a vision problem commonly known as “lazy eye” and the No. 1 cause of vision loss in children. However, if caught early enough, it is preventable and can be treated. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends children get eye screenings starting at 12 months and then every few years. We recommend screening for all children ages 3 to 5. This preventive care is crucial for the eye health of your child. As children are starting new environments that will test their vision in new ways, it’s important to be ready. Visit mdeye.org/amblyopia for resources on the importance of early vision screenings and what parents and guardians need to know.

Dr. Ahad Mahootchi, Zephyrhills

Live or die with your choice

I need a kidney transplant, and here’s what I think hospitals should do with the unvaccinated | Column, Aug. 24

Paul Rupert’s commentary is spot on. His views need to become policy immediately. No access to a hospital bed if you were health-eligible and you are not vaccinated. People who choose the risk of rejecting the COVID vaccine also get to live — or die — with the consequences of their “choice.” Stop stressing our health care system based upon stupidity, arrogance and oppositional/defiant behaviors. This must end.

Joe Sclafani, Sun City Center

The wrong decision

Pinellas School Board rejects change to student mask rule | Aug. 24

The Pinellas County School Board should be ashamed to have rejected a motion to consider a meeting to discuss a 90-day mask mandate for the county’s public schools. There are 10 school districts that have decided to buck Gov. Ron DeSantis’ wrong-headed parental bill of rights law and have imposed mask mandates with opt-out provisions for medical reasons. Masks have been shown to be an effective deterrent to the spread of the virus and would provide an important measure of protection for teachers, staff and students, especially those under the age of 12 who cannot be vaccinated. The board should immediately reconsider this decision.

Judy Gallizzi, St. Petersburg

Where my nose begins

Rules on masks, schools on trial | Aug. 24

Many years ago I took a course in school law at the University of South Florida. The instructor repeatedly told us, “Remember, your rights only extend as far as the end of the next guy’s nose.” That statement can be taken literally now as some claim their individual rights supersede their neighbor’s right to breathe COVID-free air. I remember, at the beginning of the pandemic praying for a vaccine to be discovered quickly. It happened, and I was thankful. Being vaccinated and wearing a mask demonstrates our concern for others. Our country and our world are only going to defeat this virus by doing these two basic things. To do otherwise is like saying, “Your end of the boat is sinking.” We are all in this boat together.

Judith Roberts, Land O’ Lakes

First responders, get jabbed

Rescue workers pass up vaccine | Aug. 25

Police, firefighters and paramedics respond to many citizens’ calls for help, some of whom are too young or medically unable to get vaccinated. Having unvaccinated rescue personnel responding in these situations does not seem like a good idea. Remember, first responders were given the first opportunity for vaccinations. If they choose to not take that opportunity, how does this affect the government agencies workers’ comp insurance for an on-the-job contraction of COVID-19? Could this also could carry over to on- and off-duty disability and death pension benefits? I think that it is apparent that this is not a “personnel decision”; the effects go far farther than that.

Patrick Kroeger, Palm Harbor

Work for a better ending

If you love Trump, get vaccinated | Another voice, Aug. 26

I now know how the zombie virus in the movies can take over a world in a matter of days.

J. Edwards, Pinellas Park