OHSU

Casey Eye Institute at OHSU, Portland, Oregon

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Children's Vision Screening

Give your child the best start in school with vision screening, now required by new Oregon law

Have a little one starting school this fall? Be sure to schedule a vision screening as part of your back-to-school preparations. A new law requires every child in Oregon who is seven or younger to have his or her vision checked before starting preschool or school. Certain eye diseases, such as amblyopia, can be successfully treated and even reversed if caught early.

Vision Screening for Kids

“The ideal time to detect and treat children with vision problems is between ages 3 to 5,” notes Joannah Vaughan, director of the Preschool Vision Screening Program at the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic. “Early detection provides the best opportunity for successful treatment of amblyopia, and gives children the best start when learning to read. Although the treatment can be as simple as an eye patch or prescription eyeglasses, it can dramatically improve a child’s ability to read, play and get along in the classroom, she says. “We’ve seen children who have been withdrawn at school or having behavior issues suddenly blossom after their vision problems were addressed.” 

At this time, about 14 percent of preschoolers are offered a vision screening by their physician. Check to see if your child's doctor is equipped to screen preschoolers and can provide certification of a vision screening or eye exam. 

See to Read is offering free vision screenings to children ages three to seven at participating public libraries across Oregon this summer. The program is a collaborative effort of the Oregon Elks, Oregon Library Association and Oregon Lions and uses trained screeners. The screenings take less than a minute using a noninvasive, objective photo screening device. All children screened will be given a certificate as proof of a vision screening. Youngsters who do not pass the screening will be referred to an eye doctor for a dilated eye exam. 

Learn more about See to Read and find a screening event in your area.