As adults, it’s easy to forget how scary that first eye exam may have been as a child. As parents, it’s our job to help prepare our children for their first eye exam, which they may think of as being scary.
If your child is afraid, preparing them before their first eye exam can make all the difference! Keep reading for tips to prep them and make the first exam a success!
Talk to Your Child
Before starting anything new, wouldn’t you rather know about it instead of not? It’s often our fear of the unknown that is scariest. Before scheduling their eye exam, explain to your child that they will see an eye doctor.
Also be sure to explain to them that the eye doctor will use special instruments to see if their eyes are healthy. A short conversation that gives them an idea of what to expect might be enough to calm their fears.
Find a ‘Kid-Friendly’ Eye Doctor
Another thing to consider is whether your eye doctor is kid friendly. You may have a relationship with your eye doctor, but your child needs to be comfortable.
If you think they should see someone different, do some research. It’s best to look for eye doctors or practices that say they are a family practice. Another thing to look for is if they list pediatric ophthalmology as a specialty.
You can look online at reviews or consult other parents. There may be an eye doctor that all your friends recommend.
If a practice doesn’t feel like quite the right fit, keep searching. This is an instance where you should listen to what your gut is telling you!
Why are Kid Friendly Practices Important?
Offices designed to accommodate families with young children may have a play area. This is the perfect place for your child or children to work off some energy before their eye exam.
On the fence about a practice? Visit them in person! This gives you the opportunity to have a look around without your child. You can also check out what frames they have and if they are suitable for children.
Take Your Child on a “Virtual Tour”
With the help of the internet, you can take your child on a virtual tour of the practice you chose! You can do this by pulling up their website.
Point out faces and tell them the names of people they will interact with. Make sure you point out the front desk person, as well as their eye doctor.
New situations filled with strangers can be especially nerve wracking. Giving your child something to remember can help them forget about their fear or anxiety.
Do a “Test” Run at Home
Want your child to feel extra prepared? Let them know they will be looking at pictures and letters and telling the eye doctor what they see.
You can play “Eye Doctor” with your child and pretend to be the eye doctor and have them be the patient. They may even start looking forward to their appointment thanks to this game!
Want more information about how to prepare for your child’s first eye exam? Contact the experts at Riverside Eye Center in Auburn, Maine today to schedule an appointment!