Vision problems ROP long term care for premature babies
As part of the long term care options for premature babies with special needs this week, today we look at vision impairment and ROP.
For babies under 30 weeks ROP is routinely screened for as this age babies are more at risk Of having severe eye problems.. In the past too much oxygen caused problems for babies at risk of ROP and in many babies they suffered blindness. premature babies ROP rate has decreased dramatically with better care in the neonatal intensive care unit.This has led to even better survival rates of the very premature babies who would have had little chance making it in the past.
on rare occasions a baby that has been born with no vision,being totally blind or very poor vision lets look at how the other senses can be developed so baby has the best opportunities to be able to learn and grow.
A baby has 5 senses SIGHT,HEARING,TASTE TOUCH SMELL.
When one of these has been impaired the other senses become more sensitive so you can provide activities for the other 4 to make recompense for the one lost.
The first few years are valuable for any baby to learn and develop and especially in the first year babies use their senses to explore their surroundings.Even from birth when a premature baby is home from the hospital baby can lie in a crib listening to a lullaby from a musical toy. Letting baby grasp a finger or holding his/her cheek at the side of yours to feel skin to skin ,listen to your heartbeat on your chest,soothing words from mum and dad.Getting to know your smell can all be learnt from day one.
As baby starts to touch and hold things lying baby on different soft textures such as a sheepskins rug a velour blanket will encourage the SMELL sense and TOUCH so use as many as possible that are baby safe.
Don’t be alarmed and say NO NO! if baby puts things to the mouth all babies do this as part of their learning Its called mouthing, so long as each item is safe eg a toy, rattle, rag book etc. In a blind baby this is even more important for the sensitive tongue. here are some good resource sites for tactile baby toys.http://www.cheapdisabilityaids.co.uk/