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About

Rhode Island Numbers

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Regulations

Partners

Childhood Vision Screening

Early detection, and correction of vision problems helps children and youth prepare to learn in school. All children entering kindergarten are required by state law to have a vision screening done by their primary care provider before the start of the school year.

If a child fails the vision screening, he or she must have a comprehensive eye exam done by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist). The child’s primary care provider may also refer a child for a comprehensive eye exam for other reasons related to the child’s development. If a child has a comprehensive eye exam, the eye doctor must give the parent or guardian a written report of the results of the eye exam and also send the results to both the child’s school and the child’s primary care provider.

Vision screening is also required upon school entry and in the first (1st), second (2nd), third (3rd), fourth (4th), fifth (5), seventh (7th) and ninth (9th) grades. These screenings are provided at school. However, if a parent presents the school physician or school nurse-teacher with evidence that the same screening was done in the previous twelve (12) months by a primary care provider, ophthalmologist or optometrist, the child is exempt from the screening requirement for that school year.

What Parents should do

  • Have your child's vision tested by their primary care provider upon entry into Kindergarten.
  • If your child does not pass the screening, or if your child is referred by your primary care provider for another reason, you must have a comprehensive eye exam done by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist).
  • Make sure that the result of the comprehensive eye exam is sent to your child’s primary care provider and to the child’s school.
  • Make sure your child has the required school vision screenings done with either their primary care provider or that the screening is done in school.