Submitted by Kim Schiavi Central Michigan District Health Department OSCEOLA COUNTY\u00a0\u2014\u00a0Good vision and \u00a0the ability to hear are two important elements in helping a child succeed. Make sure your\u00a0child gets their eyes and ears checked. Clearness of vision, eye muscle balance, nearsightedness and farsightedness are tests offered\u00a0during a vision screening through a local health department. Hearing screenings have often been\u00a0helpful in identifying hearing loss and providing assistance in finding the appropriate medical\u00a0referrals if further testing is needed. Central Michigan District Health Department offers both\u00a0screenings to children during the school year at no cost to the parents. For children 3 through 6\u00a0years 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\u00a0first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth grades. Hearing screening is done for preschool children and those in\u00a0kindergarten, second and fourth grade. Preschoolers are screened in larger daycares, Head Start centers, or\u00a0during kindergarten round-ups. Students are screened throughout the school year as our technicians\u00a0visit each school district.\u00a0 Other children may be screened at the request of a teacher or parent, and\u00a0are also offered at our health department clinics by appointment if needed. All children who are being home-schooled can also get screened at no cost to the parent.\u00a0Any family with home-schooled children can call the local health department branch office in their\u00a0county and ask to make an appointment for hearing and vision screening. Appointments are\u00a0available during the summer months as well. The parent of any child who does not pass the screening is contacted and asked to take the\u00a0child in for more testing by a doctor. Approximately 10 percent of children screened for vision and 5 percent of\u00a0children screened for hearing are referred to specialists. Referrals to community services for\u00a0assistance are also available. For more information or to set up a screening appointment for eligible\u00a0school age children please call\u00a0(231) 832-5532 ext. 1521 in Osceola County This article has been brought to you by Central Michigan District Health Department, which serves\u00a0the counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola and Roscommon. Visit our website at\u00a0cmdhd.org, like Central Michigan District Health Department on Facebook and follow us\u00a0on Twitter @CMiDHD.