Earlier this month, Queensland mother Melissa Hine booked her daughter Lola in with an optometrist after spotting a small white spot in her eye.
Ms Hine noticed the dot while talking to the four-year-old and, while Lola was otherwise well and happy displaying no other symptoms, Ms Hine trusted her gut and booked Lola in for an appointment with an optometrist, who referred her to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Queensland immediately.
She then received the shock diagnosis of retinoblastoma – a rare cancer which is found almost exclusively in children under six.
One of the doctor’s in the team informed Ms Hine about a lifesaving camera flash technique, and said any abnormalities in flash photos should result in a consultation with eye health professionals, to be safe.
Ms Hine shared the photograph of Lola with her friends and family online pleading with parents to take a photo of their children’s eyes with the flash on.
“The cancer is in Lola’s left eye so there’s no red reflection, if you see any type of change in the red reflection get it checked out straight away," she said.
Childhood Eye Cancer Trust chief executive Joy Felgate said that retinoblastoma is a very treatable cancer but it is often diagnosed too late to save a child’s eye.
Parents are reminded to book their children in for a routine eye exam at least before starting school, as many vision problems and eye diseases present without symptoms.
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