Why is there a need for children's vision screening?

Last year, we screened over 40,000 children for possible vision problems. But you may be asking why is there a need for Children’s Vision Screening? Here are some quick facts you may or may not be aware of...

  • One in four school-age children has a vision problem.
  • One in twenty pre-school age children has a vision problem.
  • Some of these vision problems can lead to permanent vision loss if not detected and treated early.
  • Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States.
  • Nearly 80% of all learning during a child’s first twelve years is through vision.
  • 86% of children (approximately 166,155 in Iowa) will not receive a comprehensive eye exam prior to entering school
  • 74% of juvenile delinquents had failed at least one vision test.

Even though Prevent Blindness Iowa has reached thousands of Iowans through our screening and education programs, much remains to be done. Iowans are still suffering from vision problems that could be prevented. Vision problems, such as amblyopia, in young children often go undetected until the damage is irreversible and partial sight is lost. But, if detected and treated early, nearly 50% of all vision problems can be prevented.

Who do we screen?

This program is targeted towards school age and preschool children in schools, licensed preschools and day care centers throughout Iowa. The children benefit by a free vision screening to catch potential vision problems before it is too late. Prevent Blindness offers Spot Vision Screening and visual acuity screenings on-site to children throughout the state. This program is provided to children ages 3 to school age.

The Spot Vision Screener is used with young children and those who would not otherwise be able to be screened, for example: infants, preverbal children and developmentally disabled children. The hand-held Spot vision screener takes just a few seconds and can be performed by non-medical staff or volunteers with the tap of the screen. Designed for a pediatric patient whose movement, cooperation and attention is fleeting, the Spot calculates the refractive and ocular alignment status of any child with measurements performed automatically and displayed instantly.

VSP Sight for Students

Working in partnership with Vision Service Plan's (VSP's) Sight for Students program, Prevent Blindness and its affiliates distribute thousand of vouchers for free eye exams and glasses each program year for the children of financially challenged families.

Over the years, the VSP Sight for Students program has remained a cornerstone of Prevent Blindness America's efforts to provide children and their families with the support they need for healthy vision. Our organization and the families served by this program remain grateful for this lasting and beneficial partnership. Download the VSP Sight for Students application.

Share Your Success Story!

We need your help to insure continued funding for this essential program. Since you help identify students in need of a gift certificate, we ask that you report on students who were positively affected by the program. Please share any success stories, photos, drawings etc. that you may have.

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