Special Issue: Children’s Vision and Eye Health
As part of August’s Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month at Prevent Blindness, and as a follow-up to its 2016 publication, The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH) has released an updated version of the report titled “Children’s Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues” second edition.
The goal of the report is to provide updated U.S. surveillance data, share best practices from eye health programs, describe current vision and eye health requirements for preschool and school aged children, and share key policies and recommendations from the NCCVEH Advisory Committee on the best approaches to providing children with access to eye care.
Among other findings, the report highlights:
- The Prevalence and Impact of Vision Disorders in U.S. Children
- Risk Factors for Vision Problems in Children
- Access to Care
- Screening and Intervention
- State Approaches to Ensuring Children’s Vision and Eye Health
- Effective State Systems for Children’s Vision
Specific disparities related to visual impairment and vision testing are also highlighted in the report:
- Children experiencing health and socioeconomic inequities have lower rates of vision testing, experience disparities in visual impairment, and reduced access to care.
- Non-Hispanic children aged 0–17 years whose primary language at home was not English, had the lowest percentage of vision testing as compared to children in homes where English or Spanish were spoken.
- An analysis of children’s vision disorders in 2015 with projections to 2060 indicates significant increases in visual impairment among Hispanic, Asian American, and multi-racial children 36 months to 72 months old.
Download the full version of “Children’s Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues.” The pdf file includes a complete list of sources for all data used in the report.
NCCVEH Names Recipient of the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Vision Award
The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness recently selected Logan Newman, NBCT, ABO, MS Ed, Program Developer and NYS Certified Science teacher and Career in Technical Experience Teacher at the East High School Vision Care Program as the 2020 recipient of the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Vision Award.
Newman, a former US Navy medic with training as an optician, and current East High School science teacher, was selected by the all-volunteer Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award Committee in recognition of his innovative, educational and vocational approach to vision and eye care for disadvantaged and underserved youth in Rochester, New York. Under Newman’s direction, local volunteer eye care providers perform refractive examinations in the Rochester City schools for students who do not pass their school-based vision screening.
Newman created a program to teach high school students the necessary skills to make eye glasses and work as student-opticians at the Vision care school clinics over the course of three years. Through the Vision Care program, Newman and his team of student-opticians have provided over 100 clinics for eyeglasses- including eyeglass selection, fitting, and dispensing- throughout Rochester City Schools.
Help Your Child Be a Star “Pupil” This Year
ISPB and Prevent Blindness Illinois recommend a continuum of eye care for children to include both vision screening and comprehensive eye examinations. All children, even those with no signs of trouble, should have their eyes and vision screened at regular intervals.
IL Vision Screening Mandate
Vision screening must be provided annually for preschool children 3 years of age or older in any public or private educational program or licensed child care facility, and for school age children in kindergarten, second and eighth grades; are in special education class; have been referred by a teacher; or are transfer students. These screening services are required in all public, private and parochial schools.
A completed and signed report form, indicating that an eye examination by a doctor specializing in diseases of the eye or a licensed optometrist has been administered within the previous 12 months, is acceptable in lieu of the screening requirement.
IL Eye Exam School Requirements
All students enrolling in kindergarten, and any student enrolling for the first time in a public, private, or parochial school in Illinois (with the exception of preschoolers) must have an eye examination. A licensed optometrist or medical doctor who performs eye exams (such as an ophthalmologist) must perform the exam. This eye exam requirement is separate from the annual vision screenings provided in all public, charter, and private schools in Illinois, described in the IL vision screening mandate above.
If you need help finding an eye doctor, please contact Prevent Blindness for vision care financial assistance information at 1-800-331-2020.