LANSING — State Sen. Marty Knollenberg and the Michigan Optometric Association (MOA) are bringing awareness to “Michigan InfantSEE Week,” which runs Monday, May 4 through Friday, May 8 and encourages parents to schedule regular visits with their family optometrist within a child’s first 12 months.

Experts from the American Optometric Association and the MOA agree that visual development is most dramatic between six and 12 months of age and that early detection can prevent and help reduce the threat of serious vision impairments.

“I encourage all parents and eye care professionals to support the program’s efforts toward the sound development of Michigan’s children,” said Knollenberg, R-Troy. “A simple way parents can facilitate this development is by scheduling regular checkups with their local, trusted optometrist during the child’s first 12 months.”

During the examination, optometrists use lights and other hand-held objects to make sure the infant’s eyes are working together and that there are no issues that may impede vision development. Following the assessment, the optometrist will discuss or send a summary of information to the infant’s parents, pediatrician, family physician or other health care provider to report any significant condition diagnosed during the course of the assessment.

“Through their clinical education and experience, optometrists have the means to provide the most effective primary eye care to children,” said Dr. Jeffery Kenyon, MOA Children’s Vision and InfantSEE Committee chair. “I recommend parents include a visit to the optometrist as part of their infant wellness care program, as children’s vision problems can be completely hidden. A thorough eye and vision evaluation by an optometrist will ensure problems are detected early and provide the first step to a lifetime of healthy vision.”

The following clinics in the 13th District participate in the InfantSEE program and offer free vision consultations:

Kathryn Baruch O.D Manzo Eye Care 248-541-4200 2442 Oliver Rd. Royal Oak
Jonathan Hamer O.D. SVS Vision 313-382-0100 2626 Aberdovey Dr. Royal Oak
Cheryl Junker O.D. Family Eye Care Associates 586-263-9708 1079 Moran Rd. Rochester
Tracy Moran O.D. Walton & Becker Eye Care 248-628-3441 3121 Sunbury Ct. Rochester

“More than 300 Michigan optometrists participate in the InfantSEE program, which provides free vision assessments for babies, regardless of family income and insurance,” Knollenberg said. “Providing free care to those in need truly speaks to the character of the volunteers within this program. I am proud to bring awareness to this issue and to make sure that Michigan’s kids receive every advantage they can.”