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Statewide Eyesight Pre-schooler Screening Clinics

Jan 15, 2020

Parents and carers with children starting school this year are encourage to have their child’s eyesight checked at screening clinics at Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour to ensure they can focus on a book up close and on a white board at a distance.

The State-wide Eyesight Pre-schooler Screening (StEPS) program is an initiative of NSW Health that offers all four-year-old children free vision screening before they start school.

Almost 700,000 preschoolers in NSW have benefited from free eyesight screenings through the StEPS program. For the Mid North Coast, StEPS has celebrated 10 years of successful service, screening 20,000 children.

Through the StEPS program, Registered Nurses visit preschools and childcare centres to conduct eyesight screening with children who are due to start school.

Additional clinics have been scheduled to allow for children to have their eyesight checked prior to starting school, if they are Home Schooled, attended Family Daycare or were absent from preschool on the vision screening day.

These clinics will be conducted at Port Macquarie Community Health Centre on Friday, 24 January from 9am to 11.30am and Coffs Harbour Child and Family Health Centre on Thursday, 23 January from 8.45am to 12.30pm.

For an appointment, contact the Mid North Coast Local Health District StEPS Coordinator on 6656 7061 or email MNCLHD-StEPS@health.nsw.gov.au

Mid North Coast Local Health District StEPS Coordinator Wendy Mutton said early detection and treatment of eye issues can correct some eye disorders and prevent the life-long need for glasses, providing great benefit to a child’s education.

Why do children need their vision screened?

  • Children rarely complain of eye problems
  • Children may not realise they can’t see well
  • Some children can see well with one eye but have poor vision in the other eye
  • Children’s eyes may look okay and parents/carers might think that their child can see well but some children might still have a vision problem
  • The only way to tell if a child has a vision problem is to have the child’s vision tested one eye at a time.
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