What is new in vision screening in Minnesota?
The Minnesota Department of Health provides recommendations to the Minnesota Department of Education for Early Childhood Screening and School age screening and to the Minnesota Department of Human Services for Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC) training. Head Start agencies follow C&TC guidelines.
A state interagency task force, vision screening experts and key stakeholders met in December 2005 to review the proposed MDH 2006 Vision Screening Guidelines in order to assure the quality and effectiveness of, and provide a standard of practice for, the vision screening component of children, birth through age twenty years.
The Vision Screening Guideline, revised 2009 (PDF: 1.0MB/59 pages), include new recommendations for screening children, after the newborn period to three years old. This is important for programs such as the Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC) and Head Start.
Partners in this process include the Minnesota Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services and representatives from the Sight & Hearing Association, Minnesota chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS), the American Optometric Association (AOA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP). In addition, there were representatives from the School Nurse Organization of Minnesota, Local public health agencies, Child & Teen Checkups, Head Start agencies and schools.
The legislature has lowered the age for the Minnesota Early Childhood Screening process (to assure school readiness) from entry age of 3 ½ years to 3 years. The MDH has researched age appropriate screening tools to assist in the screening children age 3 years. These tools are included in the new guidelines.
Please see the summary of the 2006 Vision Screening Procedure Summary Chart (PDF: 53KB/1 page) and the Frequently Asked Questions regarding Vision Screening on this website. There are also links regarding how to order to vision screening tools.