Some vision problems take years to develop, while others manifest quickly. Children may need to visit an optometrist at a very young age, which can be intimidating for them at best– downright scary at its worst! The best way to avoid meltdowns or nightmares? Equip yourself and the child with information, provided below courtesy of The Vision Gallery. Our survival guide will outline your child’s eye and vision health journey from start to finish.
The first step towards an optometrist visit is spotting the problem! Often pediatricians, caregivers, teachers and even parents can pick up on a child’s vision problem before the child themselves. Squinting, poor coordination and reports of headaches are common tells– but most issues are caught by the vision screening at their yearly check-up.
Once you’ve been referred to or have chosen an optometrist, make an appointment that is suitable to your schedule. Pick a time that doesn’t interfere with the child’s sleep routine or any other obligations. You may also consider visiting the practice beforehand to meet the staff and doctor– you may even gauge how “kid-friendly” it is. There can be downtime during the visit, so bring along a toy, a snack and any other necessities. Always bring a list of the child’s medication, family history and any questions you might have (and a way to take down the answers).
If the child is old enough, talk to them about the appointment a few days before– reassure them that it is pain-free and explain that an eye “exam” is actually more like games with flashing lights and colours. They should know there are no “right answers” and the results of the visit is in their best interest. Explain the results in a positive way afterwards, no matter the outcome. You should always maintain an even temper– very young children often keep calm as long as the parent or guardian is relaxed and comfortable.
If you take the above advice to heart, a visit to The Vision Gallery can actually be enjoyable for you and the child alike. Our friendly, considerate staff are always happy to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Contact or visit us by booking online at any of our three convenient locations!