Project Description

The futures looking bright for Evie Prep vision screening ensures Queensland kids get the best start to their education

Evie was struggling to keep up in her first year of school. Reading and writing tasks were an everyday challenge for the Brisbane Prep student and she became overwhelmed with the day-to-day activities of the classroom. Fortunately, there was a simple solution to her problem – a pair of glasses.

Evie was one of the almost 50,000 ‘Preppies’ across Queensland who received free vision tests in 2019 through Children’s Health Queensland’s statewide Primary School Nurse Health Readiness Program, which ensures a child is best prepared to begin to their education.

In 2019 almost 50,000 preppies were vision tested through the Health Readiness Program

Vision screening is vital in early childhood, particularly for conditions such as amblyopia, or a ‘lazy eye’. This is the most common cause of vision impairment in children affecting about 1 in 50 Australian children. If not detected and treated early, it can negatively impact their social and educational development and can increase the risk of blindness in adulthood.

By starting treatment while a child’s visual pathway is still maturing (up to age eight), there’s a greater chance of reversing this damaging condition without any long-term effects on vision.

lazy eye
Evie would cry at a playground when she could not see where we were and she was quite clumsy, always falling over things.
Evie with nurse

In Evie’s case, her vision screening revealed she was short-sighted, an increasingly common condition in childhood. The diagnosis initially came as a surprise to her parents, but they later realised it explained a few things about their daughter.

“Evie would cry at a playground when she couldn’t see where we were,” her mother Erin recalls. “She was quite clumsy. She would fall over.”

“We thought it was just Evie – until we got her sight checked.”

“Suddenly we had an answer for her behavioural problems and her learning challenges.”

A year on from getting her glasses, Evie is a confident and happy Year 1 student, who loves socialising with her friends, participating in outdoor activities and is thriving at school.

“Her schoolwork, behaviour and confidence has improved dramatically. Her glasses have completely changed her life,” Erin says.

“I just love my new glasses, and I love school now,” a beaming Evie adds.

I love my new glasses
Vision testing