Pre-school vision screening

Dear Parents

The Family Health Service of the Department of Health Hong Kong provides vision screening for Pre-School children at 4 years of age or above by a registered optometrist/orthoptist.

Why should my child receive vision screening?

Vision is a crucial part of learning and developing as children grow and explore their world. A child’s visual system grows and develops from being able to see in fuzzy black and white as a newborn to fully mature at the age of eight.

Sight abnormalities may affect children’s future visual development and can cause irreversible damage.

Vision problems can prevent children from social activities, and participating and succeeding at school. Children may not realize they have sight issues, and if their eyes aren’t tested regularly, problems could go undiagnosed for months or years. Caught early, these issues are easily preventable. In fact, vision problems are much easier to treat when the child’s vision is still developing.

Children should have a comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist when they have turned four. At four, children are generally able to follow the required instructions to undergo their vision test. However, if they have any of the early signs mentioned below or are significantly behind in their development, consult your pediatrician or GP.

Early signs that your child may have eye problems

It can be difficult for parents to catch vision problems as children usually adapt to them as they grow. Early signs parents and caregivers may pick up on include:

  • Complaints of headaches
  • Frequent blinking or rubbing of the eyes
  • Tilting the head or squinting to see properly
  • Covering one eye when reading or watching television and computer screens
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Inability to see far away or close up
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Complaints of blurred or double vision
  • Leaving out or confusing words when reading
  • Holding reading materials very close to their eyes

Frequency at which children’s eyes should be examined by a professional

After their first eye exam at age 4, children should have at least one comprehensive eye exam just before they enter Primary School. Children are also recommended to have an annual eye exam to ensure normal visual development and catch or monitor any eye disorders. Ensuring good vision is crucial for their educational and general development. With regular eye examinations, optometrists can help children to achieve their best possible vision.

Public eye care providers for children

If your child is close to or over 4 years old, and is registered with a Maternal and Child Health Centre, contact the MCHC or call the Pre-School Vision Screening phone booking system at 3793 6111.

If your child is over 4 years old and is not registered with an MCHC please check the Family Health Services website, or call 2112 9900 for details about making an appointment for registration.

Please see the attached brochure for further information.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Phone: 2914 2142

Email: [email protected]

Vicky Hendriks

Health and First Aid Coordinator