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School screening and how to test an infant or toddler’s eyes


Is a school vision screening just as effective as a full eye examination by a doctor?


Vision screenings at your pediatrician or school are useful to pick up gross problems, but they do not take the place of full eye exams.

A study that was funded by the National Eye Institute and was published in the April 2004 issue of Ophthalmology found that 36-39% of preschool children with one of the targeted vision disorders was missed.

The requirements for grade school vision screenings consist of testing the distance visual acuity.

Even near vision, which is a critical component in learning, is sometimes not tested.

Farsightedness can easily be missed.

Many other important tests especially for the at-risk students are left out.

Thus it is very important to have a full eye examination at least before kindergarten.


How do you test an infant or toddler that cannot talk?


We have many tests that look at their prescription, eye alignment, basic visual acuity, eye health, focusing and tracking.

One test for infants involves two cards.

There are black and white stripes on one card and only a gray color on the other.

Babies tend to look at the more interesting target (the stripes) and will do so if they can see them.

The size of the stripe-pattern is varied to help determine how well they can see with each eye.

Another example is a test for a two year old.

We use the Lea chart, which has simple pictures of a house, heart, square and circle.

When they are presented, the child points to a card on his or her lap that matches the shape they see.

 


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School screening and how to test an infant or toddler’s eyes

FAQs - Pediatrics