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More about the process of the eye test
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The earlier an illness is recognized, the better it can be treated. That is why every child in Germany is entitled to 10 free U examinations in the first six years of life. During these check-ups, the children are also examined for possible eye diseases such as cataracts, clouding of the eye lens or retinoblastoma. Read here what is waiting for the examinations called "U1" to "U9".
U1: The U-examination for newborns
The first of the 10 U examinations takes place immediately after birth. These preventive examinations determine whether the children have survived the birth in a healthy manner. The so-called APGAR values are decisive:
- Puls (heart rate)
- Ground tone (muscle tone)
- Alook (skin color)
Based on these values, which are recorded immediately after birth and a further 5 and 10 minutes afterwards, the pediatrician recognizes whether there are any adjustment disorders in the newborn. Blood is also drawn from the umbilical cord to check whether the baby has been supplied with sufficient oxygen during the birth, based on the pH.
Other components of the first U-examination can be a hearing test, a test for congenital metabolic disorders and, since September 1, 2016, a test for cystic fibrosis. Vitamin K is administered for blood clotting, the first dose of a total of three. As with all subsequent U examinations, the child is measured and weighed at the U1.
All results of the early detection examinations are in the yellow booklet entered, which now serves as an orientation for the parents. In this booklet it is noted when which U-examination is due and what is examined in detail. From September 1, 2016, the booklet will also include a removable participant card that can be used to document the documented examinations at authorities, day-care centers or schools, if required.
U2: The second check-up for children between the 3rd and 10th day of life
A comprehensive examination from head to toe – this is the U2 between the 3rd and 10th day of life. Most of the time, this U-examination even takes place in the maternity clinic. If this is not the case, parents should make an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible after birth. This check-up examines the children thoroughly for congenital diseases, malformations or disorders so that they can be treated quickly and the risk of consequential damage is minimized. Particular attention is paid to this early detection examination: skin, sensory organs, breast and abdominal organs, genital organs, the head and the skeletal system with muscles and nerves.
Also the Children’s eyes are inspected more closely in these checkups. The pediatrician determines whether one or both eyelids are visibly drooping. He examines the child for leukocorie, a whitish glow in the pupil that is revealed in a backlight test nystagmus (Nystagmus), possible formation of a gap in the area of the eye (coloboma) as well as abnormalities in the size of the globe. To find out whether the baby tends to squint or whether it shows the first signs of strabismus, the doctor leads the Brückner test by. The room is darkened and the child’s pupils are illuminated from a distance of 10 to 30 centimeters. It is crucial that the pupils light up on the same side. With this test, eye diseases such as inequality or Cataract (Cataract) detected so that doctors can react quickly.
U3 to U9: How children develop between the checkups
In the following U examinations, which take place at ever increasing intervals, the doctor sets the physical investigation continuous. This is how the U3, which takes place between the 4th and 5th week of life, an ultrasound examination of the hip joints in order to be able to treat possible malpositions in good time. The review of age-appropriate intellectual and motor development is also increasingly coming into focus checkups of the children. At the U3, the pediatrician already checked whether the baby was carefully watching the movements in front of his face, whether he was looking at the person opposite him, reacting to noises and holding his head lying on his stomach. In addition, the Doctor about important vaccinations and the intake of vitamin D and fluoride for the prevention of rickets or caries.
Even with the U4 between the 3rd and 4th month of life the doctor will monitor whether your baby is moving, reacting, and can see and hear properly. In the U5 between the 6th and 7th month The pediatrician continues to check whether the baby is reaching for things within its reach and how general it is about its mobility and body control. In addition, the eyes are tested again. The pediatrician uses an eye mirror to determine whether the child is squinting. Another topic is the promotion of language development, which is now becoming important. In the U6, which takes place between the 10th and 12th month of life, In addition to body coordination, a check is also carried out to determine whether the child is already forming the first words or double sounds like "Dada" or "Mama".
U-examinations of young and school children
The next U-examination does not take place until a year later: the U7 between the 21st and 24th month. In the meantime, the baby has grown up into a toddler and is now being examined for its motor and mental abilities, as in the previous U examinations. Does it move according to age? Can it speak at least ten words and combine two words correctly? Can it build a tower from building blocks and kick a ball without falling over? The pediatrician is also putting eyesight to the test again. Just like in the following U investigation, the U7a at the age of 3 years (34th to 36th month), in which tests for examining spatial vision as well as vision tests for bilateral and for right and left vision are carried out. In these as well as the last two U-exams before the child started school, social behavior is also in focus. So the doctor examines at the U8 (46th to 48th month) In addition to high blood pressure, jaw development and the motor and language development of the child, the child’s social behavior such as ability to make contact and independence.
In the U9, the last screening, the children are 5 years old (60th to 64th month) and are more or less about to start school. The pediatrician is now performing another eye test, examining the fine motor skills, coordination, social behavior, intelligence and psychological development of the child. His assessment is crucial for when the child can start school.
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals….
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