Eye checks for children at the age of four years are essential for the early identification and treatment of eye and vision problems and reduces the likelihood of permanent vision loss.
This World Sight Day on 8 October, the Statewide Eyesight Preschooler Screening (StEPS) team is encouraging all parents to get their kids tested.
Northern NSW StEPS Coordinator Jennifer McKay said early screening leads to optimal vision.
“It is critical that this screening is provided to four year olds before they start school to maximise clinical benefit and outcomes for children,” Jennifer said.
“If a child has blurry vision, they will think this is normal as they don’t have a baseline to compare it to, this is why it is so vital your children get screened.”
Free screening is available to all four year old children. StEPS visits preschools and long day-care centres in Northern NSW. Children who do not attend centres (aren’t in care or are in home care) can also get access to the free service.
In Northern NSW, the StEPS Program has made additional catch-up clinics available at local Community Health Centres for children who may have missed out on vision screening in 2020 while the program was deferred for a few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The StEPS Catch-up Clinics for the remainder of the year are listed below:
• Friday 16 October – Byron Central Hospital
• Friday 16 October – Maclean Community Health Centre
• Friday 16 October – Yamba Community Health Centre
• Monday 26 October – Murwillumbah Community Health Centre
• Thursday 29 October – Ballina District Hospital
• Thursday 5 November – Goonellabah Child and Family Health
• Friday 13 November – Coraki HealthOne
• Friday 13 November – Grafton Community Health Centre
• Friday 13 November – Pottsville HealthOne
• Tuesday 17 November – Kingscliff Community Health Centre
• Thursday 19 November – Banora Point Community Centre
• Friday 20 November – Casino Child and Family Health
• Friday 20 November – Kyogle Community Health Centre
Families can ring and book a StEPS appointment for their preschooler at their local Community Health Centre on (02) 6620 2836.
Or visit the website for more information: nnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/kids-families-healthservices/