Those Healthy Eyes
It'll be years till your child can tell you how or what she's seeing, which is why you should look out for potential problems. Be particularly watchful after 3 months, when you can get a good gauge of your baby's development. If you see any of these signs, talk with your pediatrician, who may refer you to a pediatric ophthalmologist.
- Baby doesn't look you in the eyes.
- She doesn't lock onto targets such as faces or toys.
- She doesn't blink when lights go on.
- Her eyes turn inward or outward.
Even if your child doesn't show any red flags, your doctor should check out her eyes at every well visit. This is important because 1 in 10 kids is at risk for undiagnosed eye and vision problems. And if you have a family history of eye problems, consider regular preventive eye care. If your child is between 6 and 12 months, you can schedule a free vision assessment through Infantsee (infantsee.org).
If you have specific concerns, an eye specialist can pick up on problems that a pediatrician isn't trained to catch, such as cataracts. He's also probably better equipped to deal with kids, which can speed things along. Rebecca Sullivan's 3-year-old failed his eye test with the pediatrician -- he didn't know all of his letters and some of the pictures confused him. But at the eye doctor's, Joseph had no problems because the pediatric ophthalmologist had kid-friendly eye charts that contained pictures of objects like suns and boats.