In an article from Physicians Weekly, 50 per cent of parents say “their children aged two to five years are afraid of going to the doctor.”
At Pazur Eyecare, we want to make sure all our patients, regardless of age, are comfortable before, during, and after the exam.
Whether it’s your child’s first or tenth comprehensive eye exam, here is what you can do to prepare them for their visit.
- Act it out.
New experiences can be nerve-wracking and scary, especially when you are a child. So, act it out at home to take the mystery and suspense out of visiting the optometrist. Just like playing house, take turns conducting an “eye exam” on one another. If they are still a little hesitant, try playing out the exam on one of their favourite toys first.
- Explain what will happen during the exam.
While you’re playing eye doctor, take the time to explain the process. In doing so, your child will be able to walk into the optometrist with confidence.
- Watch a video.
Many popular kids’ television shows tackle everyday occurrences, like going to the doctor. Do a quick Google or YouTube search to find your child’s favourite characters visiting the eye doctor. For example, here is one of Peppa Pig talking about eye tests.
The day of the exam:
From the moment the appointment begins, our team turns the exam into a game. Your child will get to wear different types of fun glasses (3D glasses and big, funny glasses). To minimize their fear of the exam chair, we let them take it for a ride (move it up and down).
It’s okay if your child doesn’t know their ABCs yet. Instead of reading a regular eye chart, we have them look at pictures. If they are too shy to talk, we will play a matching game. While we check their eyes, we will give your child a selection of videos to choose from to watch.
At the end of the exam, your child will leave with an Ernie Eyesight sticker and sugar-free lollipop (with your permission).
Afterwards, wait for their Ernie Eyesight postcard in the mail as a reminder for their annual check-up.