Associate Professor Elisabeth
Murphy, Senior Clinical Advisor, Child and Family Health said the Statewide
Eyesight Preschooler Screening (StEPS) program aims to diagnose problems early
and prevent permanent vision loss and eye disease.
NSW was the first state or
territory in Australia to implement universal screening for four-year-old
children at preschools and childcare centres and in 2018/19 the NSW Government
is investing more than $4 million in the StEPS program.
“The NSW Government StEPS program
is leading the way offering free universal vision screening to children aged
four years of age at all NSW preschools and child care centres,” Associate
Professor Murphy said.
“Children rarely complain of eye
problems and often don’t realise they can’t see properly. The StEPS program
tests a child’s vision one eye at a time which is the best way to establish
whether they have vision problems.
“StEPS identifies potential
vision problems as early as possible so children can receive appropriate
diagnosis and treatment. The earlier the vision problem is detected, the better
the chances of preventing permanent vision problems.”
Sascha had her daughter Ally screened through the StEPS program at her
screening found that Ally couldn’t see out of her left eye and a visit to an
ophthalmologist diagnosed her with Anisometropia and she was fitted with
“She was a totally different
person, her confidence and self-esteem picked up, she was more social and made more
friends and she was comfortable in herself knowing she could get around in the
world and see,” Sascha said.
Ally is now six
and because the vision problem was found and treated early, her left eye has
been retrained to almost the same strength as her right eye.
recommend StEPS to everyone. And it’s free. To be honest, the program changed
information on the StEPS program visit: www.health.nsw.gov.au/kidsfamilies/MCFhealth/Pages/steps.aspx