Health Department to offer free child vision, hearing screenings

Recent studies have found that undiagnosed and untreated vision and hearing issues in children are associated with significantly worse early literacy scores and other early learning challenges.

Children with undiagnosed hearing or vision problems will often have trouble learning to read, write, and may struggle to follow instructions in the classroom.

To avoid any potential learning problems, the Berrien County Health Department is encouraging parents of children ages 3 1/2 years or older who are entering preschool or kindergarten this fall to bring their child to free hearing and vision screenings offered throughout this spring and summer so that there will be enough time for their child to receive treatment, if necessary, before school starts.

Not only will the screening identify issues with a child’s hearing and vision, but Michigan state law also requires that all children entering kindergarten must have their hearing and vision tested before the first day of school.

“Because children have nothing to compare their hearing and vision to, they may have problems with their eyes or ears and never even know it,” said Dawn Mitchell, a hearing and vision technician for the Berrien County Health Department. “This makes early detection of these problems so important.”

No appointments are necessary to attend the free hearing and vision screenings. Additional information regarding the Michigan hearing and vision screening requirements and a full schedule of preschool/kindergarten screening dates, are available at the Berrien County Health Department website at www.bchdmi.org and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bchdmi.

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