WHY VISION SCREENING?
Loss of vision can affect a child’s self esteem, ability to learn and athletic performance. 1 in 20 preschoolers have a vision problem and 1 in 4 school-aged children have a vision problem. Only about 21% of preschool-age children have their vision screened, and only an estimated 14% of children receive comprehensive vision examinations before entering kindergarten or first grade, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, a 2010 report from the Office of the Inspector General found that three out of four children did not receive all required medical, vision and hearing screenings.
In 9 states, 76 percent of children, or 2.7 million children, did not receive 1 or more of the required EPSDT medical, vision or hearing screenings. Forty-one percent of children did not receive any required medical screenings. In addition, more than half of children did not receive any required vision or hearing screenings.
“Most Medicaid Children in Nine States Are Not Receiving All Required Preventive Screening Services".
Statistics from the Ohio Department of Health and information from Healthy People 2010.
The Maternal and Child Health Bureau, recognizing the importance of early vision health as a component of a child’s overall development, funded the establishment of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health (NCCVEH) at Prevent Blindness. A National Expert Panel (NEP) comprised of leading professionals in ophthalmology, optometry, pediatrics, public health, and related fields was formed to advise the NCCVEH on how best to improve the public health infrastructure supporting the early detection of children’s vision problems.
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