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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 4, 2019 09:59 AM
From: Representative Rosemary M. Brown
To: All House members
Subject: Pediatric Vision Screening
In the near future I will be reintroducing legislation from last session that creates prekindergarten vision screenings, and also modifies the current school vision screening schedule.

5 to 10 percent of preschoolers have vision problems that could impact learning and quality of life. Vision plays a critical role in ensuring our children are ready and able to learn. Children today are currently entering kindergarten at an older age, it is critical that vision screenings are conducted prior to the child starting kindergarten to help ensure amblyopia, strabismus and high refractive errors are diagnosed as early as possible.

The Academy of Pediatrics, 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.

This legislation will also reduce the yearly screenings by school health personnel or
screeners with specific training after fifth grade. After fifth grade the screening will be complete
once every two years until grade twelve. Most vision problems that children after fifth grade
experience is tied to a need for glasses, the two-year screening appears to be sufficient to
identify visual impairment.

I ask for your support of this common-sense legislation that ensures the children on their first day of kindergarten are ready to learn without a vision obstacle.

Introduced as HB1342