Kid’s eye health: How to make the eye exam comfortable for children

The assessment of your child’s eye health by an expert is paramount at all stages of growth. Anything can go wrong as your child grows up, compromising his/her vision. However much you determine to keep up with eye exams in Mississauga, ON, your child might not like it. Children generally have anxiety when it comes to visiting a doctor.

Whether or not you are scheduling an appointment with a doctor to get treated, eye exams are important. A child can easily succumb to eye infections from a very young age. Besides, other medical conditions can lead to eye problems. It explains why diabetic eye care is offered in a hospital.

Why are eye exams for children important?

If you have not yet visited a doctor to check the eye health of your child, it is time for a change, most parents still underestimate the value of getting a professional examination by a doctor. Here are some of the benefits of eye exams for children:

  • Fighting eye infection – children love to play and jump around all day. Infection from external stimuli can hurt their vision and cause pain and discomfort. Eye exams allow the doctor to find any traces of infection before they pose a challenge to the child’s vision.
  • Eye movement skills – eye movement in all directions is necessary for effective vision. Without an eye exam, it is hard to track the movements of the eyes. If an eye is moving on the contrary direction to the other, then your child may be suffering from strabismus. Eye exams help correct this before it is too late.
  • Myopia Control – Myopia is common among kids. It happens when a child has a hard time focusing on things that are at a distance. For short distances, your child may not have vision problems. However, as distance increases, images can be blurry. In some cases, kids can have strabismus or even lazy eye as the distance of the item of focus increases. An eye exam is the first place to begin for visual acuity of your child’s eyes at all distances.
  • Dry eye therapy – you may never know whether your child is experiencing dry eye until you consult a doctor. Dry eye therapy can be initiated by using eye drops, artificial tears or other lubricants. However, you have to be sure of the signs of dry eyes. An eye exam is the best way to find this out.

When should you commence the eye exams?

Getting started on the first comprehensive eye exam for your child should start at 6 months. The normal developmental processes of the eyes happen between the birth of a child and 6 months. After this age, any anomalies should be considered as an eye problem and not a stage of development.

4 tips for making children comfortable during an eye exam

As much as you would want to make your trips to the doctor easy, for children, it is a little different. Kids are afraid of injections and being under too much scrutiny. This means that, for the most part, they might resist going to the doctor. Eye exams, however, should not be scary. Most doctors and nurses that handle children’s cases are often loving and friendly to help keep the children at ease. Still, there is more you can do to make your child comfortable during an eye exam:

  • Be around for the exam – having a familiar face during the exam can make the child feel safer than not. As a parent, insist to be part of the eye exam. You can even hold your child’s hand as the doctor checks them. This will not be much of a problem because parents are usually allowed in the check-up clinics for their children.
  • Keep a stuffed animal on hand – children love toys. They associate them with fun, comfort, and safety. In the exam, bringing your child’s favorite stuffed animal or toy can be a big help. Let them hold on to them through the examination session.
  • Play some soft music – music can be soothing. Pick out your child’s favorite song and play it in the background. Pick one that is slow and does not necessitate a lot of body movements.
  • Use affirming words – as a parent, assuring your child that they will be okay might be the only thing they need.
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