Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Eyes Have It

One of the humbling things about being a new parent is realizing your naivete yet again. I take R to the doctor of course, but just recently realized that she is supposed to visit the dentist also. She's also supposed to get her vision checked regularly. (Although why this didn't occur to me before, since the same is true for adults, I am not sure.)

I think in the US pediatricians might do these functions at well child visits? In any case, that is not so in Singapore. Well child visits take about 10 minutes and are mostly just about shots (and not covered by insurance). Pursuing the other elements of your child's well-being, like developmental progress beyond very obvious stuff (like the baby isn't walking at 18 months or something), has to be done on a proactive basis by the parents. 

So I have to keep on top of all appropriate developmental milestones (physical, social, intellectual, etc.), pay careful attention to her hearing abilities, and just today, take her to the optometrist for her first eye exam (at least since she was a tiny infant). Luckily her vision is fine. 

It is kind of tiring keeping track of all this stuff though. I also wonder how other parents manage, who don't have the time, resources, and education that I do. I suppose the answer is that they don't. If they're lucky, their kids don't have problems; if they're not, the kids' development is just permanently damaged. Guess they shouldn't have been poor! (This is sarcasm for those literal readers.)

This is one of the (many) reasons Singapore has a pretty stratified society. (It's one of the most stratified places in the developed world.)


  1. Our Dr only does shots and a general check. We also have to take Ginny to a dentist and optomotrist, but the dentist said to wait until she's about 18 months and the optomotrist usually happens either if there is an obvious problem (squinting, walking into thing) or shortly before school starts.

    1. That's interesting! The ADA website says the first dental visit should be at 6-12 months (which is why I took R) but your dentist of course knows your case best. Maybe Ginny doesn't have many teeth?

      The American Optometric Association recommends a well baby visit in the first year of life, even if there's no obvious problem. You can read why here: http://www.infantsee.org/x3636.xml For R, though, I have terrible vision so have more of a reason to take her.