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Vision Screening

What is Vision Screening?
child wearing eyeglasses Vision screening for kindergarteners and first graders is like taking a quiz. Symbols or letters are shown to the child, and the child is asked to identify them or show which way they point.

For prekindergarteners, we use a machine that uses light to measure the child's eyes. This type of screening is very quick and does not require the child to pay attention
for long.

We do not touch the child's eyes during either kind of screening.

Why is Vision Screening Important?
  • When vision problems are not found and treated, a child's ability to learn and to participate in usual human activities may suffer.


  • Many children's vision problems may not be obvious to the child or to the parent, but the parent can look for signs of vision problems. See below for signs of possible vision problems.


  • The most common vision problems among young schoolchildren are astigmatism, myopia and hyperopia. All three can be corrected by wearing glasses.


  • A small number of children suffer from a condition called amblyopia, in which one eye works better than the other.  Over time, the child relies more and more on the stronger eye.  Eventually, the weaker eye may “turn off.” 


  • It is important to treat amblyopia by age seven or their may be a permanent loss of vision in the weaker eye. 

Learn more about For more information about amblyopia.

Signs of Possible Vision Problems
Young children do not know when they have vision problems.  They think that what they see is what everyone else sees.

Parents can sometimes see clues of possible vision problems.  For example, does your child

  • sit very close to the TV?
  • get headaches or tired eyes?
  • avoid activities for no explained reason?
  • rub their eyes often?
  • squint or tilt their head to see?
  • dislike bright light?

If parents notice any of these signs, the best thing to do is to take their child to an eye doctor.

Children who wear eyeglasses should see their doctors at least once a year.  Parents must encourage their children to wear their glasses.  A child's vision can be improved greatly if the child wears glasses as directed by the eye doctor.

For more information about the Vision Program and vision problems in children, call 311.

For a listing of health care facilities where vision screening is done, see the Resource List (PDF).

Last Updated: April 4, 2012