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Assessing Children’s Vision.

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    Assessing Children’s Vision. By Susan J Leat, Rosalyn H Shute, Carol A Westall. Pp 394. £35. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999. ISBN 0-7506-0584-7.

    This text is written by optometrists and its main strengths are as a practical guide to vision assessment and refraction in infants and young children. It is a comprehensive review of the up to date literature on visual development and assessment in the child. A chapter on normal child development emphasises that vision develops a parallel with motor, sensory, social, and language skills. Practical tips to help gain the child’s and parents’ confidence and cooperation in examination and assessment abound. (We must always ask and explain the toddler’s role in the examination if we are to expect cooperation and a meaningful result.)

    There are a few omissions and inaccuracies in the medical section. A succinct review of congenital and childhood cataract management fails to mention examination of the red reflex with the direct ophthalmoscope for cataract as part of the routine neonatal examination of all newborns. Many paediatric ophthalmologists now utilise intraocular lens implants in the routine surgical management of childhood cataract, particularly after 1–2 years of age.

    This book will be invaluable as a guide to vision assessment in childhood for optometrists, orthoptists, paediatricians, and ophthalmologists. The ophthalmologist will also find it an up to date source of the currently available knowledge on the development of vision in the infant and young child.