Prevent Blindness has the only national program that trains and certifies people around the country to conduct screenings that find vision problems in preschool and school-age children. Our screening procedures are recommended by many of the nation's leading children's eye care professionals and researchers.

Why do children need vision screenings?

Young children with vision problems often do not know that the way they see the world is not the way everyone sees it.  Yet vision problems affect one in 20 preschoolers.  They also affect one in four school children.  Without early detection and treatment, children's vision problems can lead to:

  • Permanent vision loss
  • Learning difficulties

While only an eye doctor can diagnose and treat a vision problem, screenings help identify children who need a comprehensive eye exam.  Prevent Blindness children's screening is an accurate, cost-effective way to find vision problems in children.

What is Prevent Blindness Children's Vision Screening Program?

Prevent Blindness  has the only national program that trains and certifies people around the country to conduct screenings that find vision problems in preschool and school-age children. Our screening procedures are recommended by many of the nation's leading children's eye care professionals and researchers.

What happens at a Prevent Blindness Children's Vision Screening? 

Prevent Blindness children’s vision screening includes several steps:

  • Observation (ABCs)
  • Distance Visual Acuity Screening
  • Stereopsis screening using the Random Dot E test – required for all children through third grade or age 9. 

First, a screener checks the child's eyes for signs of problems. Trained screeners note watering eyes and swollen or crusted lids.  Screeners also watch how the child acts, since that may show signs of a problem. Rubbing of the eyes or tilting of the head may indicate the child has trouble seeing. Screeners consider what teachers and parents say about the child's behavior. Screeners check the child's distance vision (distance visual acuity). The screeners use the recommended eye charts to conduct the check.  Children with problems seeing things at a distance may have trouble seeing the blackboard at school or performing well at sports.

Screeners also test children through age 9, or third grade, to see whether the eyes are straight and how well their eyes work together. This test is important because children whose eyes do not work well together are at risk for amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye”.  Lazy eye can cause lifelong vision loss in the affected eye.  

If it is found early enough, however, lazy eye can be treated.  In general, the earlier lazy eye is found, the greater the chance of preventing permanent vision loss.

What if the screener finds a vision problem?

Results of the vision screening are used to assess whether a child needs to see an eye doctor.  Children who need a full eye exam are referred to an eye doctor of the parent's choice.  Families in financial need can apply and may qualify for Vision Service Plan's Sight for Students® Program.

What's involved in a Prevent Blindness Texas Children's Vision Screening Training?

Prevent Blindness' half-day training uses established adult learning principles to ensure the screener's ability to conduct accurate screening tests.

Participants learn about:

  • State requirements for children's vision screening
  • Screener's roles and responsibilities
  • Signs of possible vision problems
  • Conducting and interpreting the screening tests
  • Appropriate screening reports

The comprehensive manual provides participant information including screening equipment lists, space requirements, set-up directions, detailed instructions for conducting screening tests, activities to enhance learning, tips for screening, a glossary and other useful reference material.

Become a Children's Vision Screener

Prevention is an important part of good healthcare.  Members of volunteer organizations and service groups take Children's Vision Screening Training so they can better  serve their communities.  Prevent Blindness' Children's Vision Screening Trainings are appropriate for healthcare and allied healthcare professionals, child care/day care providers, public health professionals and community volunteers.

To request information about our Children's Vision Screening and Training Program, contact your nearest Prevent Blindness Texas Regional Office.