Why should I take my baby to an InfantSEE provider?
An InfantSEE® assessment between six and 12 months of age is recommended to determine if an infant is at risk for eye or vision disorders. Since many eye problems arise from conditions that can be identified by an eye doctor in the infant's first year of life, a parent can give an infant a great gift by seeking an InfantSEE assessment in addition to the wellness evaluation of the eyes that is done by a pediatrician or family practice doctor.
One in every 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems, yet only 13 percent of mothers with children younger than 2 years of age said they had taken their babies to see an eye and vision care professional for a regular check-up or well-care visit. Moreover, 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. Some 3.9 million children were born in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In approximately 4 percent, strabismus will develop, and amblyopia will develop in 3 percent-this equates to as many as 200,000 infants born each year who are at risk for serious eye and vision problems.
Early intervention is critical to successful and cost-effective treatment. Despite the nation's present system of preschool vision screening, there exists a lack of understanding by the public of the importance of periodic professional eye and vision assessments. Unfortunately, during the course of their young lives, most children probably never see an eye care practitioner who can provide the kind of professional eye assessment necessary to identify critical eye and vision problems at an early stage, explain those conditions to parents, and provide the care necessary to correct those problems.
The profession of optometry fulfills one of its public health goals by providing infant eye and vision health through the InfantSEE program. Optometry Cares - The AOA Foundation and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. launched InfantSEE in 2005, as a first-of-its-kind national program to provide children with professional eye and vision care earlier in life.
Former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter have pledged their support for the program for a very important, personal reason: They have two grandchildren with amblyopia. For one grandchild, the condition went undetected until he was well into grade school, when classroom difficulties made the condition apparent. Had a program like InfantSEE been in place then, he may have been treated with far less effort and would have found academic success sooner.