Frugal Friday- InfantSEE

frugalfriday I get a lot of pitches from PR companies to promote their products on my blog. Some I take. A whole lot, I delete. Then, every once in a while I get one that I just know is so important I need to pass the information on to my readers.

The American Optometric Association has started a program to provide vision assessments across the country for no cost regardless of income.  I didn’t realize before doing some investigating that 1 out of every 10 infants is at risk for undiagnosed vision problems. And anyone who has had well baby checks by a pediatrician knows that they just aren’t equipped to do a thorough vision screening. Yet, if you think about it, vision development is occurring just as much as gross motor, fine motor and all the other motors.

Most children aren’t screened formally until they are of school age. This is despite the fact that early intervention can be key in preventing life long vision problems and preventing learning disabilities caused by undiagnosed problems. I am sold. And I am going to be adding this to the list of things I do in the first year of my newborn’s life when he/she joins us in the fall.

For more info, check out the InfantSEE website or call their toll free number 1-888-396-EYES (3937). There are over 7000 providers that have volunteered their services across the country so you are likely to find a provider near you.

For more frugal tips, head over to Life As Mom.


  1. There really is a better way. Vision screening should be part of the well child check up with the pediatrician. Technology is available to do automated vision screening starting at age six months. Parents should seek out pediatricians that use automated vision screening as part of pre-verbal check ups. There is no need to take vision care out of the medical home if the proper screening tools are used.

  2. very interesting thanks for the information

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  3. abba12 says:

    I am legally blind, but was diagnosed as brain damaged until I was two. This meant missing out on a lot of early intervention. Obviously vision problems to the point of blindness would be caught sooner than school age, but just those two years meant I didn’t develop the pincer grip, due to not seeing anything small enough. That is a huge starting point for pencil grips and general fine motor skills. I’ve always been clumsy and not so great at small things, and my motor skills, and hand eye co-ordination aren’t so great. Unfortunatly for me, even once I was diagnosed I wasn’t given much assistance, and that is the result of it.

    It is so important to get childrens eyes checked early, many people see it as not a huge deal, why would it matter before the stage when people realise it anyway. But it’s about far more than what your baby sees.

  4. THanks for the tip – my hubby has horrible vision issues (and they went undiagnosed for too long…poor D…ppl thought he was slow until he got GLASSES!) – so i’ll def. look into this!

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  5. I wanted to add a comment as well. I work with one of the founding optometrists for this program. It’s not just vision screening they provide. I agree with the first comment that pediatricians and well baby visits are important, but the optometrists specialize in eye care. I know of at least one story where an OD found a tumor in the back of an infant’s eye that had been missed by other doctors. They removed the tumor and she is now a happy healthy little girl. Why not have an eye specialist take a peak? It’s just another expert doing a double check on your child’s health. Plus, the optometrists that participate in InfantSEE, are supporters because they truly believe in the cause. You gotta love that :)

  6. Scott Jens says:

    Thank you on behalf of optometrists who are public health minded for your exposure for the InfantSEE program. Despite the critique of the first commentary that there is sufficient visual assessment in the medical home, there are generations of kids who have issues that are best detected through a partnership between eye doctors and pediatric primary care doctors. InfantSEE has always been, and will always be, complementary to the well-child visual assessments that are done by PCPs. The goal is to further identify issues that can dictate risk to visual or eye health abnormality to assure a child’s best potential vision management as early in life as possible. Let’s all agree that a child’s eyes are too important to have only a screening done — let’s blend screenings with periodic assessments by doctors who provide a complete examination. We all take our young children to have periodic dental exams, and InfantSEE is a free entry-point to an eye doctor’s care. It’s been recognized by the American Public Health Association as a sincere effort to address the nation’s goal of increasing attention on the nation’s vision. Thanks again for your attention to InfantSEE.

    Scott Jens OD
    Middleton, WI

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