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About Prevent Blindness America

Keeping Children in Sight

Children's Vision Screening Training


One Purpose: Saving Sight


Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, certified vision screening training, community and patient service programs and research.



These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, divisions and chapters, it's committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America.


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-age children. Without early detection and treatment, children's vision problems can lead to:
  • Permanent vision loss

  • Learning difficulties

  • Delayed development

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

What is Prevent Blindness's children's vision screening program?


Prevent Blindness trains and certifies people around the country to conduct screenings that find vision problems in preschool and school-aged 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?

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 charts to conduct the check. Children with problems seeing things at a distance may have trouble seeing the blackboard at school or performing well in sports.

Screeners will also test children through age 9, or third grade, to see how well their eyes work together (stereopsis screening). This test is important because children whose eyes do not work well together are at risk for "lazy eye" (amblyopia). This problem 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.

How do I become a trained children's vision screener?

Certified instructors conduct Prevent Blindness's training session. If you choose to become a vision screener, you will learn about:

  • State requirements for children's vision screenings

  • The roles and responsibilities of a screener

  • Signs of vision problems in children

  • Interpreting test results

  • How to report tests

  • Guidelines for follow-up processes

Prevent Blindness's training manual gives important information, including equipment lists, space requirements, set-up directions, instructions for conducting screening tests, screening practice lessons, useful tips, a glossary and other reference material.

What happens after the vision screening?

Referral and follow-up processes are matched to the needs and resources of the screening site. Children who need a full exam are referred to an eye doctor of the parent's choice. Families in financial need are directed to local agencies.


Prevent Blindness

One Purpose: Saving Sight

Why do children need vision screenings?

What is Prevent Blindness's children's vision screening program?

What happens at a Prevent Blindness children's vision screening?

How do I become a trained children's vision screener?

What happens after the vision screening?

Learn more about children's vision screenings:
Call Prevent Blindness at 1-800-331-2020

or visit


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