Children's Eye Health

1 in 5 children has an undetected vision problem!


Vision problems have a profound effect on a child’s development including schooling and day to day activities.

You can’t hit the ball if you can’t see it!

Most children will accept vision problems and adapt to their poor vision. They rarely complain as they believe everyone sees the world like they do.
All children should have a full eye examination before starting school and regularly as they progress through primary and secondary school.

  • Poor clarity or an imbalance in the coordination of the eyes can impact a child’s development
  • More than 411,000 children in Australia have a long-term eye disorder. Most of these are long- and short-sightedness

Signs of vision problems can be subtle. The following may indicate a possible problem with a child’s vision.

Appearance
  • Red or watery eyes
  • One eye turns in or out

Complaints

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Eyes burning or itching

Behaviour

  • Covers one eye
  • Squints
  • Tilts the head
  • Holds a book close to read
  • Difficulty with or avoiding reading or learning
  • Rubs eyes
  • Confuses colours
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Frequent blinking

Eye Care Practitioner



A full eye test with an optometrist will take approximately 30 minutes. It attracts a Medicare rebate and does not require a referral.

When visiting your eye care practitioner please be able to answer the following questions:

  • Is there a history of eye conditions in the family? (including lazy eyes or squints and short- or long-sightedness).
  • Have you noticed anything unusual about your child’s eyes or behaviour? (e.g. rubs eyes when watching TV or reads with book very close.
  • Has your child reached expected development goals and milestones such as walking and talking?

LEHP Children’s Vision Screening Program

To help screen for undetected vision conditions, LEHP has purchased spot screening cameras that can identify issues through a simple on-site photograph. A handbook on conducting vision screenings and using the camera, along with other vision testing equipment and an online training course, are available for Lions Clubs and associated volunteers wishing to conduct screenings, especially at Pre-schools, Kindergartens or Primary Schools.
Already screenings have been conducted in many districts and Qualified Vision Screeners and Facilitators are available to assist with conducting screenings in your area.
The Spot Vision Screening Camera analyses whether there are any abnormalities with the child’s eyes and produces a printout that details findings and recommends whether an optometrist should be consulted.
The LEHP Children’s Screening Program also tests a child’s visual acuity, using a Lea Vision Chart, to see how sharp their vision is at longer distances.
Special charts are used to test colour perception, to ensure that colours are being perceived normally.
Depth Perception is observed using a 3D image device that checks that a child’s stereo vision is suitable for conducting tasks at close range.

The following video provides more information about the Children’s Vision Screening Program.
An Introduction to the LEHP Children’s Vision Screening Program

Details about the preparations and training for conducting vision screenings are contained in this document:
Guide to Conducting a LEHP Screening

Or contact your LEHP representative or the LEHP National Office at: enquiries@lehp.org.au