Is the doctor residency-trained in pediatrics?
Completing a residency is the best way for an optometrist to receive the specialized training it takes to work with infants, toddlers, and young children. Not all eye doctors have completed a residency, and even fewer have done so in the area of pediatrics. Be sure to ask where the doctor completed their residency in pediatrics.
Does the doctor participate in the InfantSEE program?
Not all doctors elect to participate in the InfantSEE program. In order for your baby's first eye exam (before 1 year of age) to be free of charge, the doctor must be an InfantSEE provider.
How often does the doctor see patients that are your child's age?
Optometrists see patients of all ages, however a pediatric optometrist who has completed a residency program in pediatrics sees far more infants, toddlers, and young children. Just as your child will see a pediatrician, they should also see a pediatric optometrist who has been residency-trained.
Does the doctor use age-appropriate equipment to test your child's eyes?
You may be asking yourself "how could a doctor possibly test my child's eyes when they have not even said their first word yet?". Eye exams for infants rely heavily on objective findings and behavioral responses. This is why it is so important for your baby to see a pediatric optometrist who is familiar with infants and has the equipment necessary to examine a child who does not yet know their numbers, letters, or who has not said their first word.
Does the exam test age-appropriate vision development beyond how well the child sees?
Developmental vision milestones are a major focus of an InfantSEE exam. In addition to determining your child's visual acuity (how clearly they see), their presciption, and whether or not any eye diseases are present, it is also important that the doctor be aware of vision development. Proper development of the visual system allows your child's overall development to take place.