Missed opportunities: Do states require screening of children for health conditions that interfere with learning?

Strong evidence supports the existence of Health Barriers to Learning (HBLs)—health conditions that when untreated or unmanaged can interfere with a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school. These HBLs include vision and hearing deficits, uncontrolled asthma, mental and behavioral problems, dental pain, persistent hunger, and the effects of lead exposure. However, 19% of US children aged 6 to 11 did not receive their annual checkup in the past year. School requirements for health screenings can help identify children with HBLs. This study explores which states require health screening for children in elementary school, and the extent to which the 7 HBLs are included.