Hearing, vision screenings offered by local health departments

Good vision and having the ability to hear are two important elements in helping a child succeed. Make sure your child gets their eyes and ears checked.

Clearness of vision, eye muscle balance, nearsightedness and farsightedness are tests offered during a vision screening through Central Michigan District Health Department. Hearing screenings have often been helpful in identifying hearing loss and providing assistance in finding the appropriate medical referrals if further testing is needed.

The Health Department offers both screenings to children during the school year at no cost to parents. For children 3 through 6 years of age with Medicaid coverage, your insurance covers the cost of the screening.

Our state trained staff provides vision screening services to children in preschool and in the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth grades. Hearing screening is done for preschool children and those in kindergarten, second and fourth grade.

Preschoolers are screened in larger daycares, Head Start centers, or during kindergarten round ups. Students are screened throughout the school year as our technicians visit each school district. Other children may be screened at the request of a teacher or parent.

Screening may also be offered at our health department clinics by appointment if needed. All children who are being homeschooled can also get screened at no cost to the parent. Any family with homeschooled children can call the local health department branch office in their county and ask to make an appointment for hearing and vision screening. Appointments are available during the summer months as well.

Keep in mind that if a child is coming to the health department for immunizations that they could also make arrangements for hearing and vision screenings at that time pending we have a technician available and not in a school that day.

The parent of any child that does not pass the screening is contacted and asked to take the child in for more testing by a doctor. About 10% of children screened for vision and 5% of children screened for hearing in Michigan are referred to specialists. Referrals to community services for assistance are also available.

For more information or to set up a screening appointment for eligible school age children please call:

• Arenac County: (989) 846-6541 ext. 1324

• Isabella County: (989) 773-5921 ext. 1217

• Clare County: (989) 539-6731 ext. 1521

• Osceola County: (231) 832-5532 ext. 1521

• Gladwin County: (989) 426-9431 ext. 1324

• Roscommon County: (989) 366-9166 ext. 1324

Central Michigan District Health Department serves the counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola, and Roscommon. Visit its website at www.cmdhd.org, LIKE Central Michigan District Health Department on Facebook and follow @CMiDHD on Twitter.