All children newly enrolling in an Iowa elementary or high school are required to have a dental screening. This requirement was passed by the 2007 legislature and became effective July 1, 2008. The purpose of the dental screening requirement is to improve the oral health of Iowa’s children. Dental screenings help with the early detection and treatment of dental disease, promote the importance of oral health for school readiness and learning, and contribute to statewide surveillance of oral health.
The following are highlights of the school dental screening requirement:
- The requirement applies to kindergarten and ninth grade students only.
- A screening for kindergarten may be performed by a licensed dentist, dental hygienist, physician, nurse, advanced registered nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.
- A screening for ninth grade may be performed by a licensed dentist or dental hygienist only.
- Screenings performed by out-of-state providers are allowed.
- The Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Dental Screening is the only acceptable form.
- A screening for kindergarten is valid from age three years to four months after the enrollment date.
- A screening for ninth-grade is valid from one year prior to enrollment to four months after the enrollment date.
Iowa law mandates that routine general hearing screenings are conducted in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. Screenings of students with a history of known hearing loss are conducted in preschool, kindergarten, and grades one through five. Screenings of new students, those with suspected hearing concerns, or those undergoing a special education evaluation are completed as needed.
These screenings are for hearing related to general speech. In other words, can the child hear general speech in the normal range? It’s a pass/fail test—the results are either “normal” or “abnormal.”
The purpose of the child vision screening program is to improve the eye health and vision of Iowa’s children. The child vision screening program establishes a comprehensive vision evaluation effort to facilitate early detection and referral for treatment of visual impairment in order to reduce vision impairment in children.
Blood Lead Screening
In Iowa, legislation requires all children entering kindergarten have at least one blood lead level test.
Iowa House File 158 was passed in 2007, amended in 2008, and became effective July 1, 2008. This is known as “mandatory blood lead testing.”
The goal of this legislation is to protect Iowa children under the age of 6 years from lead damage in their developing brains and nervous systems and to reduce the number of children with developmental and learning problems related to lead exposure.
Your child’s health care provider can recommend treatment if your child has been exposed to lead. Additional testing may be needed.