Hearing and vision checks for pre-school children

Hearing and vision checks for pre-school children

Your child's hearing and vision will be discussed with you at various Well Child checks before your child turns 4 years of age. If your child does have a hearing or vision problem, finding it early is good for their learning and development.

Key points to remember

  • your child's hearing and vision will be discussed with you at various Well Child checks before your child turns 4 years of age
  • the eighth and final Well Child check is called the B4 School Check and happens when your child is 4 years of age
  • if you have concerns about your child's vision or hearing at any time, take your child for an assessment
  • if your child does have a hearing or vision problem, finding it early is good for their learning and development

What hearing checks do young children need?

Your child's hearing is screened as part of the B4 School Check. This is usually done by vision and hearing technicians.

The results of this screening will be sent to you in the mail or will come home with your child. The information you receive explains the results of the screening and how you can have your child further assessed if needed. See:

If your child doesn't have their hearing screened at 4 years of age, it's important they have this screening done in their first year at school. This screening picks up most hearing problems.

If your child missed their screening, contact your child's school to make sure the vision hearing technician screens your child on their next visit.

See the following:

Thumbnail image of a pamphlet

Will my child have another hearing check when they are older?

After your child has their hearing checked at 4 or 5 years of age, they will not have their hearing checked again at school, so if you are concerned about your child's hearing, it's important that you visit your family doctor. Your doctor may refer your child to the hospital for an assessment by a hearing specialist (audiologist).

If your child does have a hearing problem, finding out early is good for their learning and development.

What vision checks do young children need?

Your child will be screened for lazy eye (amblyopia) as part of the B4 School Check. This is usually done by vision and hearing technicians. See common eye problems in children.

Children who have their vision screened as part of the B4 School Check either ‘pass' the screen or are ‘referred' for a full assessment.

The results of this screening will be sent to you in the mail or will come home with your child. The results will explain how you can have your child further assessed if needed.

What if my child passes their vision screening?

If your child passed the vision screen, see the Ministry of Health leaflet:

Keeping and eye on your child's vision: Vision screening (Ministry of Health)

Remember that not all vision problems are covered by this screening. Some children who passed this screen may have other vision problems or could develop a vision problem later. See common eye problems in children

What if my child is referred for a full assessment?

If your child was referred for a full assessment, see the Ministry of Health leaflet:

Referral for a full vision assessment: Vision Screening (Ministry of Health)

What if my child doesn't have their vision screened at 4?

If your child doesn't have their vision screened for lazy eye (amblyopia) at 4 years of age, it's important they have this screening done in their first year at school.

If your child missed their screening, contact your child's school to make sure the vision hearing technician screens your child on their next visit.

This screening does not find all vision problems. See common eye problems in children

What if I have questions about my child's vision screening?

If you have questions about your child's vision screening, call the Ministry of Health's free 24-hour health advice service, Healthline (0800 611 116) or talk to the vision hearing technician who screened your child, an optometrist, ophthalmologist or your family doctor.

This page last reviewed 06 October 2016.
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