As parents of kiddos with special health needs, we are used to juggling a multitude of specialist appointments. I would venture to say that all of our kids have had at least one eye exam (if we don't count an eye-care provider of some kind as a member of our child's health care "team").
Parents of typical kids may not be so "lucky" in this respect--the percentage of children who have recieved a complete eye exam (as opposed to vision screening at the pediatrician's office) by the time they are 5 years old is only 14%. When you consider that undetected vision problems are the number one childhood handicap, preventative eye care just makes sense.
I received an email recently from my professional organization (American Optometric Association, AOA) that was talking about what an important communication tool blogging has become, especially among mothers (really??? where have you guys been lately!). Word-of-mouth via blogging has been a huge in getting the word out about a special program sponsored by AOA called InfantSEE.
InfantSEE providers will provide one no-cost assessment to any child under 12 months of age. It's called an "assessment" but essentially it is a full exam where vision, eye alignment, and ocular health are all examined. The baby does get dilating drops, so it takes about an hour for the appointment.
Please share with any mom friends who have babies under a year old. The InfantSEE web page at www.infantsee.org has more information. There is also a tool at the very top of the page to find an InfantSEE provider in your area.