Free eye checks for 4-year-olds

The CCLHD wants local families to make use of the StEPS program

Local families with 4-year-olds are being encouraged to take advantage of free eye checks following World Sight Day.

Eye checks for 4-year-olds are essential for the early identification and treatment of vision problems and to reduce the likelihood of permanent vision loss prior to starting school.

NSW is the first state or territory in Australia to implement universal screening for pre-schoolers via the State wide Eyesight Preschooler Screening (StEPS) program.

More than $4M is invested annually in the program and Central Coast Local Health District is encouraging all parents and carers to take advantage of the program.

Leanne Roberts is the District’s Operational Nurse Manager, Women, Children and Families, and said early screening leads to optimal vision.

“If a child has impaired vision, they may think this is normal as they don’t have a baseline to compare it to,” she said.

StEPS screeners visit preschools and long day care centres across the District’s catchment area and children who do not attend centres or are in home care can also access the free service.

Families can also ask their GP to test their child’s vision or refer their child to an eye health professional.

The District has also made additional StEPS program 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.

For further information on available catch up clinics, contact the CCLHD Gateway Child and Family Health team on 4328 7900.

Dilon Luke