Educating new parents is one of the biggest jobs as a nurse in the Meriter Birthing Center. This education does not stop with the newborns discharge to home. It is crucial to each baby’s development to continue to connect with health care providers to make sure that your child is doing well and on the right track.
As much as it can be a challenge to pack my 3 year old and 15 month old up to go anywhere, we have not missed an appointment yet. We have gone to even more appointments after finding out my daughter needed glasses. I often times get asked how we ever figured out she needed them.
During my own annual eye exam my doctor had informed me about a program called InfantSEE that provides an assessment at no cost for babies as early as 6 to 12 months old. Keira was 9 months old at the time and I would occasionally notice her staring past me when I came up close, but did not think much of it at the time. As a nurse and a mother I thought – why not get this done? During the assessment my eye doctor did have some concerns with her vision. He then referred us on to a pediatric specialist. After further testing, Keira was found to be farsighted (she can see great far away but not up close). At 18 months Keira got her first pair of tiny glasses. After three more months of consistency she began to wear them for the majority of the day. Keira is now 3 years old and when she wakes up in the morning she asks for her glasses because she claims “I can’t see with my eyes.” Then I remind her that she can see, just not very well unless she wears her glasses. She loves books and is right on track as she learns about colors, numbers and letters.
I think of how babies and toddlers rely so much on seeing and hearing to grow and develop. Keira could have fallen behind on basic milestones. I am thankful that this program was offered to me at a time when I would have not even considered that Keira has issues seeing. She will be in glasses the rest of her life and with eye appointments twice a year I can be reassured that she is continuing to see things well. I even have Elliot, my 15 month old, getting his first eye assessment later this month.
For more information on InfantSEE visit www.infantsee.org.
Assistant Nurse Manager of Meriter’s Birthing Center