The following is an editorial written by State Representative Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga). If you have questions about this commentary, please contact Rep. Byrum’s office by calling (517) 373-0587.
Something that parents should consider adding to the schedule (in addition to well-baby checkups) is an InfantSEE exam. Among the numerous infant checkups and screenings, testing a child’s vision is something that often gets overlooked. InfantSEE is an amazing public health program that offers free vision screenings to infants within the first year of their life. Sponsored by American Optometric Association and managed by Optometry Cares, InfantSEE is designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness services in order to improve a child’s quality of life.
These checkups are especially important for infants, as it is nearly impossible for parents to determine if an infant’s vision is developing correctly. A visit to the optometrist when a child is six months to 12 months of age is crucial.
Through the InfantSEE program, infants in the first year of life can receive a free vision and eye screening, regardless of insurance coverage. These screenings are the best way to check that your child’s vision is developing correctly. Undetected vision problems can contribute to a decrease in a child’s quality of life, may lead to developmental and behavioral difficulties which impede classroom learning, as well as increase the costs to society.
Many eye problems arise from conditions that can be identified by an eye doctor in the infant’s first year of life. According to the American Optometric Association, one out of every ten children is at risk for undiagnosed eye and vision problems. Early intervention is critical to successful and cost-effective treatment.
To find a doctor near you that offers InfantSEE screenings, please visit www.infantsee.org. More than 7,000 optometrists across the country offer the screenings, including dozens here in theIngham County area. For more information, call InfantSEE toll-free at (888) 396-EYES (3937).
I encourage you to take advantage of this program and also to share this program information with other parents!