Optometrists Offering Free Infant Eye Checkups

Former President Jimmy Carter a spokesman for InfantSEE initiative

MONDAY, June 13, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- A free public health program to provide professional eye assessments for infants across the United States was launched this week by the American Optometric Association (AOA).

Former President Jimmy Carter is the honorary national chair and spokesman for InfantSEE. Under the program, participating optometrists will conduct free, one-time, comprehensive eye assessments on infants in their first year of life in order to provide early detection of potential eye and vision problems.

The most dramatic visual development occurs between 6 and 12 months of age. Early detection of potential problems can prevent and help reduce the threat of serious vision impairments, experts note.

"As parents, we regularly take our children to the dentist to help prevent cavities. Likewise, we should take our babies to the optometrist to help prevent potential eye and vision problems," Carter said in a prepared statement.

"Given my family's experience managing vision problems that were not caught early, I strongly encourage all parents with babies to visit an optometrist for an InfantSEE assessment during the first year of their child's life and I applaud AOA for providing parents this opportunity," Carter said.

His granddaughter was diagnosed and treated as a toddler for amblyopia (lazy eye), a leading cause of vision loss in people younger than 45 years of age. His grandson's amblyopia was not diagnosed until grade school and may never be fully corrected.

More information

To learn more about InfantSEE, phone toll-free 1-888-396-3937 or go to the InfantSEE Web site.

SOURCE: American Optometric Association, news release, June 8, 2005
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