>Children often feel nervous about visiting the doctor. Every time they go, it seems like they have to receive a shot or undergo a procedure. Plus, at their age, they may not fully understand why. As many parents know, there are times when a doctor’s visit is crucial for their current and future health. Research shows that over 25% of elementary-aged children need eye exams. These exams serve the purpose of treating current vision issues and mitigating possible future problems. Here are some tips for preparing your child for an eye exam:
Explain the Process
People are cautious of things they don’t understand. Explaining to children what to expect while getting an eye exam and why they are getting an eye exam will help them feel less anxiety about the process. Describe the different tests and procedures involved, such as reading an eye chart, dilating their eyes or looking into various machines. Also, provide comforting messages that the eye doctor is friendly and is there to help them.
Imaginative play is a great way to introduce children to new topics. Creating a fun and interactive doctor’s office at home is a great way to simulate an eye exam for a child. Using toys and other visuals will help fully immerse children while playing pretend. Take turns playing the eye doctor and patient. Just as adults prepare themselves for stressful speeches through practice, children can prepare themselves for stressful things through pretending.
Let your child know it’s OK to ask yourself and their doctor any questions about the process. You can also be proactive in addressing questions and concerns. For example, the first time using eye drops can be disconcerting. Let them know it doesn’t hurt and why various eye drops help their eyes. Reassure them that doctors like to answer questions and are experts.
Parents are responsible for looking over their children’s health and it’s not always easy. Children may push back on things that make them nervous or they find boring. Parents have an obligation to be persistent in getting their children the proper care. We have an immense amount of experience in educating and comforting their patients. This includes both children and adults. If you have any questions about how to prepare your child for an eye exam best, contact us at 801-476-0494.