Vision and eye health are essential to a number of physical and psychological aspects of childhood development, including motor skill development and hand-eye coordination, cognition, and social and emotional well-being. Healthy vision in children contributes to readiness for school and learning, which sets a foundation for a higher quality of life, life satisfaction, and economic well-being in adulthood. Unlike other senses that may be fully functioning at birth, a child’s vision develops and changes throughout early childhood years; thus, requiring early and consistent detection, diagnosis, and treatment before vision problems worsen or result in permanent vision loss. A system of care that includes early detection practices, population-based data systems, and measures of accountability is needed to ensure children are receiving appropriate and timely vision and eye care.
National Goals and Standards
Early detection and intervention for vision disorders in children are part of national goals and health care standards, such as Healthy People 2030 and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s 2017 recommendation that children ages 3 to 5 years should receive a vision screening.