Your child’s vision is precious, and you want to help him or her develop healthy eye care habits now that will continue well into adulthood. A positive first experience with an eye doctor can help cultivate a sense of being comfortable with going to a vision center for eye-care services. Here’s how you can help prepare your child for that momentous initial eye exam.

The Importance of Professional Eye Care

You may think your child’s too young for an eye exam, but the reality is that even very young children benefit from an appointment with an optometrist. If a child isn’t seeing well, she may not realize it, since she doesn’t have a way to compare what she sees with what a child with 20/20 vision sees. This is one reason that it’s important to schedule an eye exam for your child even if you think she’s too young. When a child’s vision is corrected and she sees clearly for the first time, a whole new world opens up for her! You’ll likely see confidence levels rise, along with noticing greater enthusiasm for tackling new things, and fewer frustrations with tasks around the house or at school.

Keeping Things Relaxed

The best way to prepare your child for the first eye exam is to stay relaxed! Your child will pick up if you’re feeling anxious, and he’ll likely start to feel a measure of anxiety as well. By staying calm, you’ll show your child that an eye exam is a normal experience and not a cause for concern. Another way to help is to briefly explain what to expect in terms your child will understand. There’s no need for a long lecture; simply state in simple, non-alarming terms what to expect. For example, you may want to say something along the lines of, “Today we’re going to find out how you see the world!”

Address Your Child’s Questions

Questions are bound to come up. Keep your answers genuine and to the point, and remember to stay positive. Your child may enjoy playing pretend, taking a turn being the eye doctor while you’re the patient. This is also a good time to talk about the importance of our eyes, what they’re for, and how they help us see things near and far. Turn the experience of having a first eye exam into a teaching moment where your child’s understanding of vision and everything eye-related has the chance to grow. Together, you may want to stop by your local library to check out kids’ books that talk about getting an eye exam, like the classic Arthur’s Eyes by Marc Brown.

What to Look for in a Pediatric Optometrist

A pediatric eye doctor needs to be well-versed in common eye conditions children experience, as well as having the right disposition to interact with kids. A good optometrist will help put your child at ease, making the exam experience a fun game. Just as important, the pediatric eye doctor you select must be able to answer your questions to your satisfaction, and the staff at the eye care center needs to be kid-friendly and approachable.

We’re Here to Help

At Spectrum Eye Care in Colorado Springs, we regularly see young patients who are visiting an eye doctor for the very first time, and we take it upon ourselves to make it a positive, relaxing experience for every child. Read through our testimonials, and you’ll see that families regularly recommend us and our services. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s vision prior to his or her appointment, let us know. Our goal is to provide quality eye care and deliver outstanding service to every member of the family. Make your child’s appointment today!