A friend lent me her February copy of Parenting Early Years. On page 79, there is an article called Healthy Ever After. One topic discussed is vision. The article says that “children may not complain about near-sidedness until they’re school age, but it can be detected as early as 3, says Dr. Dankner.” The go on to recommend screenings at 1, especially if you have a family history of “eye problems.”
I think it was a nice little blurb, but like all magazine articles, just touched briefly on an important issue in those of us reading this blog. If you could reach as many audiences as a well publicized magazine, what information would you want to share with other parents?
Great question! I wrote up a post back in October for our local newspaper’s parenting blog. I mostly focused on what signs parents should watch for and reasons to bring them to a specialist. It’s really easy to think that there’s no problem going on – like the article said, children aren’t likely to complain about their vision, pediatricians don’t always know what to look for, and I don’t think any of our parenting books listed things to watch for.
Also, from a selfish perspective, I’d let them know that this blog is here and that they should stop by and join us.
Since getting an eye exam at a PO will never hurt a child and eye problems are so often missed and much harder to correct once a child is older, I believe that any parent should take their child to get an eye exam at 6 months old and following up after that according to the PO’s recommendation. We have a friend whose daughter is 12, and just now found out that she has lost most of her vision in one eye and never knew that she had amblyopia because she just learned to compensate without that eye. Now, she has a very small chance of ever having normal vision in that eye. My youngest daughter has a strong astigmatism in her right eye, which we would have never detected had we not taken her to a PO for a regular check-up at six months since we have a family history of vision problems. In my opinion, spending an hour at the PO and paying for an eye exam or a copay is a small price for preventing and detecting a vision problem before it is too late! Vision develops the most during the first two years of life and the earlier a problem is detected the better the chances will be to get it fixed.
I agree with Corrie! I live in IL and they now have a law that all kindergarteners must have an eye exam before starting school. I think it’s great, but I wish it was something pushed for at a much younger age too. I highly recommend to all my family & friends an exam at least by 12 months. It won’t hurt anything, and it’s worth knowing as early as you can!