Health Screenings

Vision and Hearing Screening Requirements

The Vision and Hearing Screening Program, Texas Health and Safety Code requires that all children enrolled for the first time in any public, private, parochial, or denominational school or in a Department of Family and Protective Services licensed child-care center and licensed child care home in Texas, or who meet certain grade criteria (specified below), must be screened or have a professional examination for possible vision and hearing problems.

The requirements for VISION AND HEARING SCREENING apply each year for children enrolled in any licensed child-care center and licensed child care home or school program at the ages or grades listed below:

4-years-old by September 1st
Any other first-time entrants
(4 years* through 12th grade)
Within 120 days of admission
1st-, 3rd-, 5th-and 7th graders
Anytime within the school year
(preferably within first semester)


Annual screening results for vision and hearing screening activities should be submitted online to the Department of State Health Services by June 30th of each year.


For VISION SCREENING, a distance acuity for the right and left eyes, e.g., 20/20, 20/30, etc. Approved charts for distance acuity testing include: (1) Snellen Alphabet or Sloan letter chart, (2) Snellen "Tumbling E" Chart, and (3) HOTV Crowded Test set.

For HEARING SCREENING, the results of the pure-tone audiometric Sweep-Check Screen must be recorded for both the right and left ears. A Sweep-Check Screen is to be conducted at an intensity less than or equal to 25 dB; at the following frequencies: 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hertz.


Email Vision and Hearing Screening

Department of State Health Services
Vision and Hearing Screening-Mail Code 1978
PO Box 149347 / Austin, Texas 78714-9347
1100 West 49th Street / Austin, Texas 78756-3199
Phone: 512-776-7420 or toll free 1-800-252-8023 extension 6687
Fax: 512-776-7414

Spinal Screening Program

In 1985 the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 832 which requires screening for abnormal spinal curves for students in grades 6 and 9 attending public and private schools. The school is then required to notify the parents if a child shows any signs of a possible curvature. Screening should be done during the growth spurt years, ages 10-14 years (Grades 5-9), to detect spinal deformities early. The screening requirement for children entering grades 6 and 9 may be met if the child has been screened for spinal deformities by a physician and a record has been provided. Schools may implement a program that includes screening in the 5th and 8th grades, instead of grades 6 and 9.
La Feria ISD currently conducts the mandated spinal screening in the 6th and 9th grades.

If the screening indicates the student may have an abnormal spinal curvature, the school nurse shall send the screening report to the student's parent or guardian along with a letter advising of the parent;s responsibility to select an appropriate health practitioner for examination.

Spinal Screening Program

Health Screening Group-Mail Code 1938
PO Box 149347 / Austin, Texas 78714-9347
1100 West 49th Street / Austin, Texas 78756-3199
512-776-7420 (phone)
Toll Free 1-800-252-8023 extension 6687
512-776-7414 (fax)

Texas Risk Assessment for Type 2 Diabetes in Children

The Texas Risk Assessment for Type 2 Diabetes in Children is a legislatively mandated program developed, coordinated, and administrated by the University of Texas Pan-American Border Health Office (BHO). The program assesses children who may be at high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes in Texas Education Agency Regional Education Service Centers 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 19, and 20. During vision/hearing and scoliosis screenings of 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th graders in public and private schools, certified individuals assess children for the acanthosis nigricans marker, a skin condition that signals high insulin levels. Children who are positively identified with the marker undergo additional assessments of body mass index (BMI), BMI percentile, and blood pressure. Referrals are issued to the parents of these children, alerting each parent of their child's risk factors and encouraging further evaluation from a health professional. Becoming aware of and understanding what the risk factors suggest can help stimulate the changes necessary to prevent or delay future health problems for children at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and other conditions.

» For more information, visit

Exemption on any of the screenings:

An individual is exempt from screening if screening conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination of which the individual is an adherent or a member. To qualify for the exemption, the individual or, if the individual is a minor, the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, must submit to the admitting officer of the preschool or school on or before the day of admission an affidavit stating the objections to screening.

The student or minor's student's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, may elect to substitute one or more professional examinations for the required screening tests. Health and Safety Code 36.005 (a)