Preparing young children for a visit to the optometrist and the possibility of glasses can be a tricky. Toddlers and preschoolers may be frightened or scared of the idea of visiting an eye doctor and need extra support to feel secure. There are several things you can do to help a young child feel more positive about an upcoming eye exam and wearing glasses.
Turn it into an Adventure
Preschoolers and toddlers may be hesitant to try new things, but turning a new experience into an adventure can help reduce the stress they may feel. Talk about taking a trip to the optometrist in a positive way. Explain the different parts of an eye exam as knightly challenge or a princess test or other activity that appeals to your child's specific interests.
Take a Trip to the Bookstore or Library
Most children love reading time with a parent. A trip to the library or local bookstore can yield a wealth of books that can help children feel more comfortable about an eye exam and wearing glasses. Books that show what to expect at an optometrist exam can help reduce fear and introduce children to the different tests they will encounter.
Books about children who wear glasses, including those that include favorite characters, can help children become more accepting of the idea.
Talk to Friends and Relatives who Wear Glasses
Most children have at least one friend or relative that wears glasses. A visit with them that includes talking about how glasses help them see better and clearer and how it doesn't limit what they are able to do can be encouraging.
It can also be helpful to find a beloved character or role model who wears glasses and talk to your child about how important it is to their being able to see well.
Watch Glass Related Videos
In the digital age, there are a never-ending number of videos to be found on the Internet for any topic. A quick search can find several age appropriate videos that can prepare children for an eye exam. These include both videos that depict real life optometrists and animated videos that will appeal to very young children.
Play a Roleplay Game
A great way to prepare young children for a doctor's visit is to roleplay. Take turns being the doctor and patient, and act out what a child can expect from an exam. A play doctor's kit, a flashlight, and toy glasses create the perfect kit for preparing a child for an upcoming appointment with a clinic like Premier Eye Care & Surgery.