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New Moms Encouraged To Schedule Eye Assessment For Infants

Saturday, May 8, 2010 Lifestyle News J E 4
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No-cost Public Health Program Helps Protect Babies' Vision

ST. LOUIS, May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mother's Day is a special time when many women reflect on the amazing responsibility motherhood brings.  Moms want to ensure that their baby grows up happy and healthy and, it seems, all moms know about well-baby visits at the pediatrician's office.  However, one well-baby visit that is not as well known is a baby's first trip to the eye doctor.

Studies indicate one in every 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems. Unfortunately, many children at risk for eye and vision problems are not being identified at an early age when many of those problems might be prevented or more easily corrected.  And since babies are not born with clear vision, they need to learn to see over a period of time.  A complete eye assessment for babies between six and 12 months of age can determine healthy visual development.  

InfantSEE®, a public health program managed by The AOA Foundation, is designed to ensure eye and vision care becomes an integral part of an infant's wellness care.  Optometrists who participate in the InfantSEE® program provide a one-time, comprehensive eye assessment for babies in their first year of life. These eye and vision assessments are provided at no cost to all families, regardless of a family's ability to pay or access to insurance coverage.

"As a mother and an optometrist, I understand the true value these assessments provide to an infant's overall development," said Dr. Valerie Kattouf.  "Even though your baby doesn't know the letters on a wall chart, an eye doctor can perform non-verbal testing to assess visual acuity, detect nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, and evaluate his eye teaming and alignment."

InfantSEE® assessments complement the well-baby exams received from a pediatrician or family physician.  Optometrists have the training to identify areas of risk that are critical to vision development and the skills to identify conditions that might not be detected in a routine pediatric wellness exam.

Help protect your baby's windows to the world by scheduling an InfantSEE® assessment before their first birthday.  To learn more about the InfantSEE® program or to find an InfantSEE® provider in your area, visit www.InfantSEE.org or call 888-396-3937.

SOURCE American Optometric Association

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