Sight & Hearing Screening for Preschoolers- April 7

Below is the information from a flyer put out by Sight & Hearing Association.  BCCC will host them in the morning on Thursday, April 7.   This screening is often more in-depth then the tests completed at a primary doctor visit.

What do families need to do to have their child screened?

  • Fill out the form that is in your parent mailbox and return it to either your child’s teacher or to the tuition box.
  • Sign your child’s name on their classroom door to let staff know you want your child screened.
  • If Thursday is not a day that your child attends you will be able to bring them in for the screening.  If your child attends BCCC on Thursdays then the staff will bring them to the screening if you sign them up.

Is there a cost? The screening is free of charge, however, the company suggests a $10 donation to help off-set their costs of the program.


Who should be screened and why? 85 percent of how we learn is through our eyes and ears and early childhood development can be negatively affected by poor eyesight or poor hearing. Oftentimes, vision and hearing problems are not easily detected by casual observation. Young children often do not complain about not being able to see or hear, because they do not know they should be seeing or hearing any other way. Early detection of a potential problem is crucial and that is why a thorough screening is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Screenings help detect if a potential vision or hearing issue exists, however, it does not take the place of a complete eye and ear exam and parents/guardians are encouraged to follow the required periodic wellness visits for their child.

How is vision and hearing screening done? Using fun and easy games designed for young children, the Sight & Hearing Association will complete the following tests, as appropriate for your child’s age:

  1. Visual inspection of the eyes and ears (12 mos., toddlers and preschoolers): Checks eyes and ears for healthy appearance
  2. Visual acuity or clearness of vision (preschoolers): Using age appropriate eye charts and matching games we measure how welleach eye sees
  3. Fixate and Follow (12 mos. and toddlers): Using an engaging toy to see if the child can fixate on and follow a moving toy.
  4. Cross-cover and Hirschberg light dot test (all ages): Verifies that the eyes are straight and work together
  5. Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) or Pure Tone Audiometry (OAE all ages, pure tone for preschoolers): Clinic qualityequipment is used to measure how well your child receives sounds most important for speech development and communication skills
  6. Tympanometry (preschoolers): Clinic quality equipment measures how the eardrum moves. It checks for problems such as fluidbehind the eardrum

Who does the screening? Founded in 1939, the Sight & Hearing Association (SHA) is a nonprofit organization that conducts vision and hearing screenings throughout Minnesota. This well-respected nonprofit organization recognized by the National Institutes of Health as the leading authority on vision and hearing health for children in Minnesota. Specially trained vision and hearing health professionals, screen over 10,000 children each year. Over 1.5 million children have been screened onsite at their school settings by SHA staff.


How can you test both vision and hearing and get accurate results? Our experienced team of screeners use nationally recognized tests and “gold standard” screening techniques that actively engage the child through interactive engagement with infants and toddlers for vision and hearing screening and matching games used for vision screening of preschoolers and listening games used for hearing screening.

What are some of the warning signs to look for in my child regarding vision? Your child is squinting to see, needs to be close objects, complains of eye aches or pains or says their vision is blurred. Often there are no warning signs, especially in conditions such as amblyopia. Amblyopia, otherwise known as “lazy eye,” is a condition where one eye develops good vision while the other does not. A related condition is strabismus, which is a misaligned or turned eye.

What are some of the warning signs regarding hearing? Your child tilts his/her head to one side when someone is speaking, favors one ear, asks you to repeat what you have said or asks “what?” often, talks louder or complains of aches and pains.

Will any hearing results be affected if my child has tubes? Yes. The tympanometer will show abnormal results for that test only. Tubes do not affect the pure tone audiometer or OAE hearing test.

If my child needs glasses, will they weaken the eyes? No. This is a common myth. Glasses will not change the eyes to make them weaker. Eyesight may change as the eyes continue to develop, but it is not a result of the current prescription.

What is the next step if my child does not pass the screening? If your child does not pass, make an appointment with your health care professional, who can refer you to a specialist, if necessary. If your child did not pass the hearing test, it could mean a potential hearing loss, an ear infection, wax build-up or something in the ear canal. If your child did not pass the vision test, it could mean an eye condition requiring follow-up care, eyeglasses, or even allergies.

What sort of eye and ear specialists are there for my son or daughter? Otolaryngologists (ENTs), pediatric otolaryngologists and audiologists specialize in hearing issues. Ophthalmologists, pediatric ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians specialize in vision issues.

How does my donation help support Sight & Hearing Association? Our nonprofit organization has been advocating for better vision and hearing health in Minnesota, since 1939. Your tax-deductible donation ensures that children have the opportunity to see and hear better so they are able to learn. SHA screens over 10,000 children every year and we are recognized as the leading resource on childhood vision and hearing health in Minnesota and are designated a charity you can trust by the Charities Review Council. A $10 tax-deductible donation for your child’s screening is a convenience to you and your child by providing an onsite visit to his/her childcare. Your donation helps offset our actual expenses, which is over $25 per child. We are a privately-funded nonprofit organization that receives no government funding or medical insurance reimbursement for our services – support from parents help sustain our much needed screening programs. Thank you for considering a donation that helps us further our mission of enabling lifetime learning by identifying preventable loss of vision and hearing in children.

Sight & Hearing Association – 1246 University Avenue West, Suite 226, Saint Paul, MN 55104 – 651/645-2546 –