Having an eye assessment done on your infant can provide for detection of several conditions that can affect your child’s vision during their earliest stages of eye development. And while these problems are not incredibly common, catching symptoms early on can greatly improve treatment results the sooner any condition is identified. The American Optometric Association not only recommends getting your child an eye exam at six months of age, it offers a completely free nationwide program to provide those early eye assessments to children under twelve months of age.
The AOA Foundation offers this free health care program through its Optometry Cares initiative in partnership with The Vision Care Institute of Johnson and Johnson. It includes testing for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, eye movement and other eye health issues. These conditions are almost impossible for a parent to detect on their own. Of the 4 million children born each year, around 100,000 are at risk for serious eye and vision conditions. Yet, only around 13% of children under the age of two normally receive eye exams. The earlier a problem with your child’s vision is identified the sooner you can treat that condition. And treatment at this very young age can greatly improve your child’s vision for life.
There are over 7,000 AOA member optometrists involved in this volunteer program. To locate one in your area, simply visit the InfantSEE website and search for doctors that offer the program by zip code. A quick look at my city turned up 27 Optometrists offering InfantSEE eye exams within 50 miles of my home. If your child is under the age of one, simply schedule an appointment with a participating doctor. The comprehensive infant eye and vision assessment will be provided at absolutely no cost. If you have any questions about the InfantSEE program, contact the AOA by calling toll-free 1-888-396-EYES.