First of all, news alert. Thanks to my husband’s technical help, ot4kids is now on Facebook. Click here to join the group. Please also share this with your families and friends. I hope to post useful resources and updates regarding children’s development and look forward to hearing from you there.
Now onto vision……. 🙂
We know that babies have motor and language milestones. However, don’t forget that they also have visual stages of development. It’s really important to have strong visual foundations as this will help develop more sophisticated ways to see, experience, remember, and learn.
According to the American Optometric Association, it is vital for infants to have a comprehensive “vision wellness” exam at 6 months, 2 years, and 4 years to ensure healthy visual development. I believe that this is especially important for babies and children who have developmental delays and diagnosed medical conditions.
Some interesting vision facts:
-Vision starts developing before birth
-It involves 60-70% of all brain pathways, so it’s really important!
– Apparently, 1 in 10 children will have undiagnosed vision problems that could have been detected early.
– Tummy time and crawling on hands and knees strongly affect visual development.
During tummy time, the baby learns to lift and turn their head, and use their eyes to explore their environment.
When babies learn to crawl on their hands and knees, their eyes also learn to cross midline and look at the opposite hand while they are moving. This encourages eye teaming (both eyes to work together).
Additionally, just as it is important to feed or position your baby on both sides to develop symmetry and equal strength, this also encourages them to use both of their eyes symmetrically.
For suggestions of how to enhance a child’s visual development, check out InfantSee as well as Pg. 3 & 4 of “Jump Start your Baby” for specific suggestions for infants 0-12 months. You can also refer to the vision section of Resources-Fun for Kids and Resources-Links on my site.
To see what a visual exam should entail, check out this YouTube video of Dr. Subramanian completing an InfantSEE examination in the US.
**Remember that early detection can prevent future vision problems.**
The NHS provides free eye tests for all children under 16 years of age. However, make sure that your optometrist is experienced in assessing infants.