Optometrists urging eye exams for children as young as 6 months old

Regular eye exams are vital to anyone's health, particularly children.

Many optometrists believe eye exams should begin even before a child can read the chart on the wall.

Vision has a large impact on a child's health and learning abilities.

So optometrists are now urging parents to take babies for an eye exam when they are between 6 and 12 months old.

Experts say that's when vision development is most dramatic.

"The eye and the brain have to work together, and they have to be stimulated," Dr. Andrea P. Thau, an American Academy of Optometry fellow, said. "They have to actually see targets. That first year of life is when the eyes actually get stimulated and start to work together. In utero, that can't happen. You need to actually have the external stimulation for that to occur."

The American Optometric Association is making sure that every infant in the United States gets a free comprehensive eye health and vision assessment through its new program, called InfantSee.

For more information on the program, click on the link attached to this story.

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