Wise About Eyes Opens at McKinley Museum

“Wise About Eyes,” an exhibit that educates Ohio’s children and their caretakers on how to keep their eyes healthy and safe, opens in the Keller Gallery on Friday April 1 with a free reception from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.  The event will include free preschool and adult vision screenings.

The exhibit is an interactive and fun way for families to learn by actually seeing the world as someone who has an eye disease would or by learning how eye safety wear protects our eyes while playing sports or working.

Vision problems affect one in four school-age children and one in twenty preschoolers.  Eighty percent of what a child learns is visual – good vision is critical to learning. Undetected vision problems can affect how well a child performs in the classroom. An estimated 47,300 Ohio preschool children (1 in 20) have a vision disorder including amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes) that can lead to loss of vision.

Interactive kiosks provide high-tech activities and learning experiences to educate children and adults about how they can keep their eyes healthy and safe for a lifetime.  The exhibit explores:

  1. How to Be Safe. In this kiosk, children will learn about the importance of wearing eye protection when participating in sports, working at home, on the job, when out in the sun, and about fireworks safety.  Children will have the opportunity to “seek and find” what is wrong with a picture by identifying situations when people should be wearing eye protection.  Photos will lift up to reveal how to properly protect your eyes.  Play It Safe gives children the chance to pull back a lever with a baseball attached to see and hear the difference a baseball helmet with eye protection offers young players.  There are also actual eye safety glasses mounted on the kiosk, along with photos of children wearing the glasses to reinforce the eye safety message.  A push button matching game will challenge the children to match the appropriate safety wear with various day to day activities.  A video will highlight some personal stories from children and adults about their own experiences with an eye accident, and how this has affected their lives.
  2. Eye Disease.  Children will learn about some common eye diseases, and how individuals with these diseases see the world.  They will be able to experience what it is like having impaired vision caused by an eye disease by working through a maze with limited vision.
  3. Eye Health.   This kiosk stresses the importance of a continuum of eye care through life, from infancy to old age.  Information is provided on the recommended frequency of eye examinations throughout life and how our vision affects our emotional wellness.  A push button activity will educate children about how their health habits will affect their vision (i.e. eating healthy, protecting themselves from harmful UV rays, not smoking, diabetes management, etc.).  A video will highlight some personal stories from children and adults about their own experiences and struggles with their visual health, and how it has affected their lives.
  4. Eye Anatomy and the Process of Vision.  Information will be presented that explains the function of the eye, the process of sight (from the eye to the brain) and will demonstrate how our vision changes as we age.  Interactive activities include an animated computer program that allows the child to answer questions about the eye, a magnetic puzzle of the eye and a large spinning wheel that illustrates how a person sees at different ages.
  5. Why Some People Wear Glasses, Latest Developments in Vision Research and Optical Illusions.  This kiosk will highlight some of the latest vision research being conducted and how the results can help us keep our eyes healthy; an interactive eye model that has interchangeable lenses that simulate different eye problems, demonstrates how different focus points can affect our vision; and some optical illusion examples that reinforce that we really see with our brain, not our eyes.

“Wise About Eyes” is funded by the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, Save Our Sight Services.  The Save Our Sight Program is supported by $1 donations at the time of vehicle registration to support eye health and safety programs for kids. For more information call (800) 301-2020 or visit www.pbohio.org.

“Wise About Eyes” will be on view at the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum through June 28.  The Museum is located at 800 McKinley Monument Dr NW in Canton.


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