If you’ve been dreading your child’s first eye exam because you think they will be scared or they won’t cooperate with the doctor, stop worrying! And more importantly, don’t let that discourage you from bringing them in. Regular eye exams starting at a very young age are so important for healthy vision. And there are many things you can do to prepare your child before your visit. Just remember, taking your child for their first eye exam does not have to be a stressful event. Just follow these proven tips and you’re sure to have a productive appointment.
Select an Appointment Time That Works With Your Child’s Schedule
Kids, like all of us, tend to feel a little more energetic at certain times of the day. So, if you want to make the optometrist visit as pleasant as possible, choose a time when your son or daughter is usually happy and well-rested. Scheduling their first eye exam during your child’s usual meal or nap time, immediately after a nap, or at the end of a long day can result in a cranky child who is reluctant to participate in the vision assessment. Don’t forget to allow additional time if your child’s eyes will be dilated or to select frames if needed.
Let Your Child Know What to Expect at Their First Eye Exam
Trying anything new can be scary, especially if it involves meeting a new eye doctor! If your child knows what to expect, they will understand that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Before your visit, explain that the doctor will examine their eyes in order to check their vision. This will probably involve putting some drops in their eyes as well as using a light to look into their eyes. It might make their vision a little blurry for a minute, but the drops are not painful.
Additionally, let your child know that they will be asked to identify different letters or pictures, both close up and far away. The doctor will give them easy instructions to follow during their exam and they need to try their best so the doctor can correctly diagnose any vision problems and offer a treatment as soon as possible.
Prepare for Possible Delays
The eye doctor will make every effort to see your child at the appointed time, but that doesn’t mean you won’t spend a little time in the waiting room completing paperwork. And of course, as with any medical office, there is always the possibility of an emergency causing unexpected delays. Prepare for any possible waiting time by bringing a few toys or books from home to keep your little ones occupied.
Make Sure Your Child is Comfortable
You know your child best and you know what their needs are when trying new things. When it comes to a first eye exam, some kids hop on the exam chair without prompting, while others aren’t quite as brave. If your young child is nervous or anxious, feel free to hold him or her in your lap during the assessment and examination. Older children may feel more confident if you stay by their sides or sit in a nearby chair during the visit with the optometrist.
At Family Vision Development Center, we encourage healthy vision habits for all members of the family, starting as early as 6 months old! Our skilled optometrists are not only trained in advanced vision therapy techniques, but they also make even our youngest patients feel comfortable and at ease during their visits. Don’t wait any longer! Call us at 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment for that important first eye exam.
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