40 Million and Counting
It's an emotion often only shared between optometrist and patient-that thrill of seeing clearly for the very first time. But in baby Piper's case, her first moment of clarity was experienced millions of times.
More than 40 million times to be exact.
Picked up by a CNN Headline News segment on Monday, July 13, the video of 10-month-old Piper's amazed reaction to seeing her parents clearly for the first time had already gone positively viral, taking the message of InfantSEE and the importance of children's eye exams along with it.
Less than 36 hours following the CNN segment, the story was circulated by more than 400 media outlets with about 100 nationwide featuring the InfantSEE mentions. Piper's story reached nearly 24,000 people alone with AOA's own Facebook posts on July 11 and July 14.
But to optometrists who know the importance of eye exams conducted on very young children, Piper's response isn't unfamiliar. Josiah Young, O.D., of Newport, Kentucky, was doing what he has done dozens of times before as an InfantSEE provider when he diagnosed Piper's hyperopia and prescribed corrective spectacles. What hasn't happened before is having his patient's response take off quite like this.
Piper's mother, Jessica Sinclair, uploaded the video to Facebook in June with a caption that sums up the care optometrists provide: "I just wanted to say thank you to Dr. Josiah Young and the Opticare team for this reaction. So happy for my daughter and this amazing practice. Thank you!"
4 ways doctors can capitalize
This visibility has created a unique opportunity for members to reach out and underscore the importance of infant and early childhood eye exams. Here are four ways doctors can make the most of the groundswell in attention about children's eye exams:
- Share, share, share. Further spread awareness among parents and caregivers about the need for early eye exams by sharing AOA's Facebook post, and letting your community know why it's important for children to receive their first eye exam between the ages of 6 and 12 months.
- Let the media know you're there. Numbers don't lie-people are fascinated by Piper's video, which means your local media is, too. Reach out to the newspapers, magazines and radio or TV stations in your community to become a source of professional information. Take this opportunity to review the Ready for School Campaign materials, including key messaging to prepare for media interviews, as another angle for media to cover.
- Find resources on AOA Marketplace. Stock your practice with materials and resources that help patients make the connection to children's eye health. Find everything from gallery prints and children's activity books, to community outreach materials and pamphlets.
- Become an InfantSEE provider. This fortuitous exposure comes on the heels of celebrating InfantSEE's first 10 years of achievements, and delivers incredible momentum as the program expands its mission. Sign up to become an InfantSEE provider to ensure that eye and vision care is an integral part of infant wellness care.
Click here to read more about how InfantSEE is helping change children's lives.