Health Canada recommends that school-aged children get a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year or as soon as you notice any change in their vision. Unfortunately, for some kids, a visit to an optometrist can be an nerve-wracking experience, particularly if it's their first eye exam.
With that in mind, here are four simple ways you can prepare your child for their next visit to the eye doctor.
1. Tell Them What to Expect
Your child may be nervous about being in a dark room with strange equipment and lights shining into their eyes. Explaining what they can expect to happen at the exam may help alleviate some of their anxiety.
2. Visit Your Optometrist's Website
Going online and showing your child the clinic can be a helpful way to reduce stress about the visit. You may want to show them photos of the doctor they'll be seeing, as well as the equipment they'll be using, all of which can help you explain to your child what they can expect.
3. Get them Involved
Make your child feel as though they're a part of the experience. Ask them about what they're hoping to get out of the visit and remind them of the importance of taking care of their eyes. You can explain that if they do need glasses they can help pick out what frames and styles they'd like.
4. Contact Your Optometrist Beforehand
If your child is particularly nervous, you may want to contact your clinic beforehand to let them know. Your eye doctor and the staff will then be able to take the necessary steps to prepare for the visit and help make your child's exam as easy as possible.
As with many things in life, it's really a fear of the unknown that causes a lot of children anxiety about visiting the eye doctor. The more you can educate them about the experience before they arrive, the better their eye exam will go when the big day finally comes.
To get a complete eye test for you and your child, book an appointment at an FYidoctors near you.