Vision Screening & Eye Exams

Where to Find Vision Screening


Your child should receive vision screening during the routine well-child visit at a primary healthcare provider’s office. If your child is complaining about his/her eyes or if you think he/she might have a vision problem, ask your doctor to conduct a vision screening at your next visit. Vision screenings in healthcare offices are usually provided by a medical assistant or nurse.


Many children receive vision screening at school, especially between kindergarten and third grade. However, since schools are not required to offer vision screenings, it possible your child will not receive a vision screening at school. Ask if your child’s school provides vision screening to be sure. Vision screenings in schools are usually administered by a school nurse, health assistant or trained volunteer.


Vision screenings may also be provided at your child’s preschool or child care program. Ask if your child’s program provides vision screening to be sure. If your child is enrolled in Head Start programs, he/she must receive a vision screening, either by a healthcare provider or by the Head Start program staff. Many home visitation programs also provide vision screening if one is not administered by the child’s healthcare provider. Vision screenings in these programs may be provided by trained program staff, outside healthcare professionals or trained volunteers.


Vision screening are often provided at local libraries, health fairs or other community events. Check your local newspaper or check online for information. Click here for further information on community vision screening. Vision screenings in community settings may be conducted by trained program staff, outside healthcare professionals or trained volunteers.

Who Performs Eye Exams

Complete eye exams are performed by professional eye doctors — either optometrists or ophthalmologists. Both have been trained to examine your child’s eyes and determine if there is a vision problem affecting his/her growth and ability to learn. It is best to have an eye doctor specifically trained to work with children (a pediatric optometrist or ophthalmologist), but many eye doctors will accept patients of all ages.


If your child’s eye doctor finds a vision problem, he/she may recommend and provide treatment options to improve your child’s vision health. Treatment can include glasses, eye patches, eye drops, or occasionally surgery. Children with vision loss may need other services.