How to make your child’s first experience of the opticians less scary

It’s very important for toddlers and infants to have the best possible vision as much of their ongoing learning and healthy development is intimately connected with having correct eyesight. Although all smaller children have regular check-ups on their eyes as a part of their overall developmental checks, these are not as thorough as the screening provided by professional optometrists. For this reason, it’s really important to get your child along to the local optician at an early age.


eye exam


Eye tests for toddlers

It is recommended to take your child to a professional optician at around the age of three. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of any potential learning difficulties that may arise due to uncorrected eye problems. Taking early action and promptly addressing any issues identified during the optician visit will greatly improve the chances of preventing future complications. Remember, ensuring your child’s vision health is a vital step towards their overall development and well-being.

What to expect in the optician’s test room

The tests that will be carried out in the optometrist’s room are entirely comfortable, and the procedures are designed for easy and stress-free treatment of young children. The first eye examination is always something of a trial simply because you don’t know what to expect, but once you see how professional, experienced and caring the specialist is, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

First of all, you’ll be asked about any family history of glaucoma or other eye conditions, and whether you’ve noticed your child experiencing any difficulties whilst playing or trying to focus on distant objects.

At the Opticians, a number of simple tests will be performed, depending on your child’s age. The optician will use various techniques to check your child’s eyes, but essentially each eye will be tested on its own and then in conjunction with the other eye to make sure that they’re working properly together. As a child of three or four will hardly be able to explain whether they’re experiencing any problems in vision, an instrument called a retinoscope is used to measure light reflected from the back of the eye to determine issues of focus.

Sometimes, parents are worried that their child can’t read yet, and how in that case the eye test can be carried out. However, reading tests are designed for older children and adults; for toddlers, there are different tests. Remember that these are specifically designed for small children, to put them at their ease and to cause minimum discomfort. You’ll be able to hold and comfort your child throughout in surroundings that will be unfamiliar to you both.

Related: Help Your Child Fall in Love With Reading

No worries

Taking a small child to see an optician for the first time can be a scary prospect, for the parent as well as for the child, but there’s really nothing to worry about. You’ll be there all the time to provide comfort when needed, and opticians are trained to deal with small children, and will not expect them to be as proactive as adults in the tests. When the checks are completed, you’ll know either that everything is fine or that potential problems are being professionally addressed.

The optician may even suggest ways to help your child understand why they need glasses and how wearing them can be beneficial, as well as giving advice on choosing the right frames. If glasses are needed, then there’s each chance that your child could grow up to love their glasses, viewing them not as a necessity but a fashion accessory! They may even thank you for providing them with such a cool accessory!

Regardless of the outcome, rest assured that your child is in very capable hands and will be receiving the best care possible. It’s also important to remember that kids are resilient and often handle change better than adults, so don’t worry about how they may react – just enjoy being there to support them through their first visit to the optician.

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