Advocates push for establishment of vision screening registry for children

Between 2,000 and 3,000 infants and toddlers are at risk for developing lazy eye each year

BOSTON (WWLP) – One of every four school age children has a vision problem. That’s why children’s vision advocates are calling on lawmakers to improve access to eye care for children, a population that relies on early detection to prevent vision problems later in life.

Each year, between 2,000 and 3,000 infants and toddlers are at risk for developing lazy eye. Without treatment, the condition can cause permanent vision loss, but it can be difficult to detect the signs without screenings and examinations.

Children’s vision advocates lobbied lawmakers on Wednesday to support a bill to establish a children’s vision screening registry, and a special commission on childhood vision and eye health.

Lisa Levin, a teacher at Mario Umana Academy, told 22News that vision issues are a barrier to learning, “When they do finally get their glasses, it’s a huge change. You see changes in how many kids are raising their hands and how involved they want to be in the classroom. You see reading levels going up because now they can see the words on the paper.”

The vision registry and screening bill is under review by the Joint Committee on Public Health.