Keeping an eye on children’s vision

Dr Sandra Staffieri is focused on helping families keep an eye on children’s eye health.


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Identifying eye problems in active children is not always easy, as they don’t often complain about them.

Early detection is crucial for all children’s eye diseases because eyes and vision continue to develop until the age of eight.

CERA Research Fellow Dr Sandra Staffieri has used more than 30 years of experience in paediatric ophthalmology to help families recognise problems and act.

Disease such as cataracts or the rare eye cancer retinoblastoma can be indicated by a turned eye or white pupil.

Dr Staffieri’s recent University of Melbourne PhD investigated delayed diagnosis of retinoblastoma and explored ways this might be improved.

Her research, published in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology in 2020, reported the evaluation of an information pamphlet she developed for new parents and carers to recognise early signs of eye problems in children.

Her findings prompted the inclusion of eye health information into the My Health, Learning and Development Record book and Maternal and Child Health App for new Victorian parents.

As Retinoblastoma Care Coordinator at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Dr Staffieri supports children with retinoblastoma and is passionate about reducing delays in diagnosis.

“We need to rely on parents observing signs that prompt a visit to the doctor or maternal
child health nurse,” says Dr Staffieri.

Healthy Young Eyes forum

Watch Dr Staffieri and research optometrist Dr Srujana Sahebjada share their top tips for keeping an eye on babies’ and children’s eye health at CERA’s recent Healthy Young Eyes online community forum.


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