Preparing Kids for an Eye Exam

How_to_Prepare_Kids_for_an_Eye_ExamIf you are considering making an eye exam appointment for your kids, here are some “exam factors” and “vision tips”.

Preparing Kids for an Eye Exam

First, the most important way to keep eyesight healthy is to bring your children in for their annual eye exam, ideally starting when they are only six months old. Starting children on yearly eye exams early in life is helpful because it sets a baseline for their eyes, prevents fear down the road if they get used to eye exams when they are young, and an eye care provider can catch any eye issues early – especially ones that you may not be able to see or ones that your children cannot communicate.

Second, if you are seeing your children starting to struggle in school for no reason or squinting at the television, you may want to get their eyes checked. These are signs of eye problems that should be looked at sooner rather than later.

Third, to reduce the risks of eye strain, be sure to limit your children’s screen time! (This is good for you too!) Whether it is TV, the tablet, phone, laptop or desktop computer, it can damage the eyes if you don’t take precautions. Take frequent breaks and limit the total amount of time spend in front a screen during the day. When reading a paper book, make sure it is at least a foot away from your eyes, and make sure there is good lighting. Wear sunglasses all year round (even babies) to protect eyes from UVA/UVB rays. The sun is just a bright in the winter as it is in the summer!

Lastly, before the kids go to their first eye exam, do some role playing. It will get them prepared for what will happen during the eye exam to minimize any fears. Pretend to walk into the office and sit in a chair. Practice putting drops in their eyes by using simple saline drops. Have them put on a pair of sunglasses and shine a (safe) flashlight in their eyes. Maybe have them draw what they think it will be like, or have them make a card to bring to the eye care provider for a great ice breaker. Offering to have a special treat after an exam is always a hit! Just be creative and make it “eye”-citing! For other ideas to help kids prepare for an eye exam, here is a great post to read.

Once you realize there are steps kids can take to protect their eyes and prepare for an exam, pick up the phone and schedule an eye exam! Don’t know who to call? Ask friends with kids, a local playgroup or Mom-group for recommendations! Or visit VSP.com to see its network of 28,000 private practice optometrists.

{For tips on scheduling an exam, read my post on “What Happens During an Eye Exam“!}

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VSP_Blog_Ambassador_BadgeDisclosure: This post is part of my compensated ambassadorship with VSP Vision Care. This post was reviewed by Dr. Zoey Tolchin of Clear View Eye Associates in Logan Square, MA to ensure that I was providing the correct health care information. She provided valuable tips too! 

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About Charlene DeLoach

As a Boston Mom Blogger in Massachusetts, Charlene DeLoach doesn't care about the megapixels on a smartphone. She only cares about whether it will survive being in the hands of her kids.

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