Child Eye Exams

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Down at VisionCare in East Lansing, it's not 13-month-old Leyna Reck accompanying her mother Teri Quimby on an eye exam. It's the other way around.

"In my family I have a lot of near-sightedness. So I wanted to make sure her eyes are healthy."

According to optometrist Dr. Sarah Knapp, "A child cannot tell a parent when they have a visual problem. They don't understand what seeing clearly is. And they cannot communicate that they cannot see."

So Dr. Knapp says getting children between the ages of six months and four years to the eye doctor can prevent possible learning problems before they head to school.

"By the time we're noticing reading delays, it's because a child isn't doing well in first, second, or third grade. And this could have possibly been identified as early as kindergarten."

Optometrist Dr. Vincent Riemer says even though children like Leyna may be very young, the vision screening is similar to that of an adult.

"We're checking to see how the eyes team together. We're checking to see even vision. When she picked up the little piece, if she couldn't see it she probably wouldn't even react."

Still Dr. Riemer reminds parents that it's important to have children's eyes checked every year he or she is in school, despite the fact that the last appointment may have turned out fine.

"We've had some patients that change every three to six months if they're really going through a growth spurt."

As part of a national program called InfantSee, VisionCare is offering free vision screenings for babies six to twelve months. To set up an appointment, call (517)337-8182. And for more information log on to