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Take Advantage of the Free InfantSEE Program

Take Advantage of the Free InfantSEE Program

As a first time mom, I am always reading and discussing with other moms about when to get things checked. Let me give you a few examples – first bath, first dentist visit, first time to take her to the doctor when it’s not just a checkup, first solid foods, first transition from our room to her room. Get the jist? I am all about my new baby and will willingly talk hours on end about her.

When I had my eye exam one month after giving birth I was so happy to be 1) out of the house 2) showered and 3) seeing new people to show off and talk about my baby. My eye prescription didn’t change, but as I was babbling on about sleepless nights and her obsession with our ceiling fan, Dr. Walters at Eye Care Associates of Madison mentioned to me about when to get my baby’s eyes checked.

I didn’t even think about that one!?! I didn’t add her to my eye insurance yet and he suggested between 6 months and 10 months. Thankfully, he also mentioned that there is a free public health program called InfantSEE.  This is a one time, complete screening and eye assessment for infant up to 1-year-old. It offers early detection of potential eye and vision problems at no cost regardless of income.

Honestly I was thinking what are they going to do, ask my kid if a or b looks better? 1 or 2? But honestly, this eye exam is so simple! It took around 30 minutes. I held her on my lap and they used a toy or a brightly colored object to check if she can follow objects with her eyes. Some of the eye conditions they test for are amblyopia (often referred to as lazy eye), muscle imbalances, and some ocular diseases. When I had Millie’s done, the optometrist  had me put a small puff in the his hand so he could test to make sure she could see small objects. I brought a toy for her to play with, but she kept wanting to grab at the lenses. They also dilated her eyes to look for pupil function and the test can also detect ocular diseases such as retinoblastoma, the seventh most common pediatric cancer.

Click here to read about the entire assessment.

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. 1 in 30 children will be affected by amblyopia – often referred to as lazy eye – a leading cause of vision loss in people younger than 45 years[ii] The good news is that many times if caught early enough, there are ways to combat these diseases!

The final thing I thought was ugh the paperwork that must be involved to get this free program is going to be a gigantic pile. One page.  It was literally one page. Now because I plan on taking my daughter back to that particular eye doctor I went ahead and signed the other paperwork (three pages). She was so excited about the process in the waiting room she took off her socks! **Side note – do any babies keep socks on?**

After our exam was complete, we walked out. We didn’t have to pay a dime. I had peace of mind that her beautiful blue eyes were working well. This program is a win-win-win. There are several options in your area to get a free exam for your child. Click here to find an optometrist near you that provides this incredible program.  Don’t forget to share this with your pregnant friends, new moms, and even your daycare.

Learn more about Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation and Johnson & Johnson Vision partnered to create InfantSEE, a no-cost public health program developed to provide professional eye care for infants nationwide.


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