To All Moms: A Wish for any Day of the Year!


Happy Mother’s Day!

As moms, we try so hard to do what’s right and to protect our kids from any harm.  This week I spoke with a mom whose heart was aching because she didn’t think about her son’s vision until now.

Her son is in the second grade and has had a hard time learning to read. She has seen his self-esteem drop as he says, “Mommy, why am I no longer smart?” I assured this mother, as I have many other moms, that she should absolutely not blame herself and that there was time to help her son develop the visual skills necessary to succeed in school. She was relieved and excited to know that something could be done and that it was not too late.

I thought what if she had known about a program called InfantSEE®?

How Does Your Baby See?

It may surprise you to know that newborn babies can barely see! And, although prenatal care and nutrition are vital for healthy eye and brain development, infants are not born with perfect eyesight. So, when does vision develop?

What Can New Parents Expect

At birth, your pediatrician most likely put antibiotic ointment in your baby’s eyes to prevent infection, so when they first open their eyes things were probably quite blurry.  Your baby’s eyes were checked for signs of a cataract or any obvious congenital eye problems. As your baby becomes more alert, he or she will naturally focus at about 8-12 inches from their eyes. This is just about the distance from your face when you hold or feed them.  Make sure to make eye contact often with your newborn.

For the first few weeks of life, it’s normal for a baby to not follow a moving toy, such as a rattle, or your face with both eyes and one eye may drift in or out.  This should not be a concern unless the one or both eyes turn all the time or the condition does not lessen over the next few months.  Excess tears are also normal for many infants as their tear ducts may not have fully opened.  They usually open on their own or with gentle massaging of the inner eye.  If there is a constant eye turn, redness, crustiness, mucous discharge or excessive tearing, you should discuss this with your family optometrist immediately.

Around 3 months of age babies start to see a bit more clearly, but it still is not very clear.  Facial expressions and some depth perception can be seen around 6 months of age.  It’s not until 8 months of age your child should be able to see objects and people across the room. Visual acuity and visual skills needed for school continue to develop as the areas in your child’s brain that are responsible for good vision mature.

 Early Vision Examinations – A Necessity

Showing ABC7 News Reporter Leigh Glaser How Fun and Easy an InfantSEE ® exam can be!

Did you know that Vision Disorders are one of the most prevalent handicapping conditions during childhood?  To ensure that vision problems are prevented, experts agree that unless a problem is detected, a child should have his or her well vision and eye health examinations:

  • Between 6-12 months,
  • At three years of age,
  • Before starting Kindergarten,
  • And every year to two years during school.

Therefore, even if a baby’s well-child exam by a pediatrician gives no indication that anything is amiss with vision —parents and caregivers still need to schedule a well-baby EYE examination with an InfantSEE® optometrist, between 6-12 months of age.

InfantSEE® is a national program that provides well baby vision

Checking for 3D Vision with Red Green Glasses

care for infants 6-12 months of age at no charge.  It was established by the American Optometric Association and honorary chair, former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, to detect, prevent and treat vision problems as early as possible.  Through this program, 1 in 6 babies were found to need further assessment for a variety of vision conditions that are best treated early in life.

INFANTSEE® WEEK

This week, May 9-13th, as we have done for the past six years since the program’s inception, is a time when we celebrate with moms and dedicate time to spread the news of this wonderful program.  For more information, visit:  www.InfantSEE.org.

Protect Your infant's Sight with 100% UV Sunglasses

To all moms, to quote author, Susan Sly, of The Have It All Woman, I wish you “balance, abundance and the life of your dreams”!

Carole L. Hong, OD, FCOVD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s