Our registered nurses visit local state, catholic and independent schools to check for common eye conditions that may affect your child’s eyesight.

Watch our video and find out what prep vision screening is, and why it's important.

Why have your child's vision screened?

It’s better to find out early if your child has a problem with their eyesight. Some conditions can lead to blindness if they’re not treated early.

It’s also important for your child’s learning and development. When children can’t see properly, they may have difficulty with

  • their behaviour
  • their concentration and coordination
  • things that need distance or close vision like sports or reading.

They may also get sore eyes, headaches and feel tired.

It’s a good idea to have the screening even if your child has had their 4 to 5 year development check. We use a vision screener that can pick up problems that may be missed in a health check.

We don’t check for colour blindness.

Read about Evie's eye check and her new glasses.

What happens at a screening

Before we check your child’s eyes, the nurse will ask for their full name, date of birth and their parent or legal guardian’s name. A teacher aide will usually help them answer these questions.

We use 2 screening tools to check your child’s eyesight. The checks take less than 5 minutes and include a card matching game and having a photo of their eyes taken.

If your child already wears glasses, make sure they bring them to the screening. You don’t need to be at the screening but if you’d like to, talk to your child’s school.

Watch Layla have a vision screening.

After the screening

We’ll give your child’s results to their school in a sealed envelope to give to you if you agree. We’ll also tell the school principal if your child needs to have more eye tests.

While our screening can pick up problems your child has now, it’s still important to have regular checks with an optometrist or ophthalmologist. New problems can happen anytime.

How to get your child's vision screened

You'll get a paper or online consent form.

If you’d like to have your child’s vision screened, fill in the consent form as soon as possible. We can’t screen your child without your consent.

If you’re worried about your child’s eyesight, don’t wait to have a screening. Take them to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

If your child has a vision problem

If the nurse finds a problem they’ll call and talk to you about referring your child to an optometrist or ophthalmologist for more tests.

After you see the optometrist or ophthalmologist, we’ll follow up with you to discuss the outcome.

If we’ve referred you to an optometrist

If you don’t have an optometrist, the nurse can give you a list of aligned optometrists who have done extra training in children’s vision problems.

Some optometrists specialise in working with children with special needs. Some also speak other languages.

Remember to take the referral we give you to the appointment.

Costs

Medicare may help pay for some of the costs. If you have private health insurance, you may be able to claim some of it from your health fund.

If your child needs glasses, you may be able to get a free pair through the Spectacle Supply Scheme if you have a health care card. Read more about the scheme on the Queensland Health website.

If your child needs to see an ophthalmologist

Your GP will need to refer your child to an ophthalmologist. If there’s isn’t one at your local hospital, they’ll refer you to another one.

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who diagnoses and treats eye diseases. They also do eye surgery.

Costs

Medicare may help with some of the costs. If you have private health insurance, you may be able to claim some of it from your health fund.

Contact us

If you have any questions or you’d like more information, contact the Primary School Nurse Health Readiness Program on 1800 687 372 or email Admin.PSNHRP@health.qld.gov.au.

If you’re a teacher, you can provide feedback through an online survey we’ll send to your school principal after we’ve done the screenings.

Information in other languages

If you have trouble hearing or you don't speak English, you can use a free interpreter. Let us know and we’ll arrange one for you.

We also have information about the program in the following languages.

Last updated: September 2023