Visiting the optometrist for an eye exam is something that we should all do regularly, and the earlier your child starts seeing an eye care professional, the better. Hopefully, every checkup will simply result in you both being told that your child’s eyes and eyesight couldn’t be better, but if they do need glasses, regular checkups will catch it quickly and you will be able to get them the right eyewear to keep their eyesight from getting any worse. Going for their first eye exam can be a big deal for kids, so here are some top tips to help you prepare.
Choose the Right Optometrist
Some optometrists are more family-oriented, so this might be a better choice for your child compared to one who mainly caters to adults. If there are plenty of kid-friendly things in the office like toys, games and interesting pictures, your child is bound to feel more relaxed compared to being somewhere that is quite boring and clinical for them. Since they will need to go for regular eye exams, you will want to pick an optometrist who is good with kids and will make the experience a fun and interesting one for your child.
Take Them with You
Next time you need to go for an eye exam of your own, take your child along with you so that they can see the process and understand how it all works. Often, it’s the fear of the unknown that can scare children the most before going for their first eye exam, so once they have seen mom or dad do it and realize that it’s not painful or uncomfortable, and can actually be quite fun and interesting, they will be more eager to go for their own.
Talk About It
Spend some time talking to your child about their upcoming eye exam and give them the opportunity to let you know if they are feeling worried or unsure about anything. You can use this time to explain to them what happens in the eye exam and that it’s nothing to be worried about. Tell them about the letters or the pictures that they will be looking at and reading to see how well they can see. With the right optometrist, going for an eye exam can actually be a lot of fun for kids, so be sure to approach it in a positive and upbeat way.
Pick Out Glasses
If your child is likely going to need glasses, or you suspect that they might, it could be worth speaking to them about the prospect of potentially getting glasses after the eye exam and giving them the chance to look at different frames and pick out some that they like. You can do this while you wait for the appointment as many offices have a display of fun kids’ glasses that they can get excited about – but make sure that they know glasses might not be necessary; the last thing that you want is for your child to be upset that they don’t need glasses because they had their heart set on a cute pair.
Going for their first eye exam can be a scary unknown for kids, but the good news is that it can also be a lot of fun!