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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 7, 2017 12:24 PM
From: Representative Rosemary M. Brown
To: All House members
Subject: Pediatric Vision Screening
In the near future I will be introducing Pre-Kindergarten vision screening legislation for students as well as changes to the current school vision screening schedule. Five to 10 percent of preschoolers have vision problems that could impact learning and quality of life. Because vision plays a critical role in ensuring our children are ready to learn and because often children are now entering kindergarten at an older age, it is critical that vision screenings are conducted prior to entering kindergarten to help ensure amblyopia, strabismus and high refractive errors are diagnosed as early as possible.

The Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus recommend pre-school vision screenings. Screenings can be completed by a primary care provider or conducted by screeners with specific training in vision screening techniques/protocols approved by the Department of Health or a comprehensive eye exam conducted by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Often, screenings are provided by approved non-profit organizations in the community as well.

The legislation will also reduce the yearly screenings by school health personnel or screeners with specific training after fifth grade to every two years until the completion of grade twelve. Because most problems in older children are usually simple needs for glasses, the two year screening appears to be sufficient for identifying vision impairment. I ask for your support of this common sense legislation and the ability to ensure children our ready to learn without a vision obstacle on the first day of kindergarten.

Introduced as HB1694