When it’s time to take your child to their first eye exam, it might feel a little scary for them when they don’t know what to expect. But there are some simple ways you can help to create a positive experience right from the get-go so they can feel calm and recognize that there’s nothing for them to feel nervous about. When you’re preparing your child for their first eye exam, follow these tips to help them feel at ease.
Bring Their Favourite Toy Along
When children feel anxious or scared about something, one simple way to help calm those emotions is by giving them something that feels familiar and safe. That’s why we always recommend giving children a favourite toy to carry and hold on to. By bringing a toy that they love and cherish, it can help to distract and comfort them when they’re attending an appointment for the first time in a strange and unfamiliar environment.
Set a Good Example
Children are very observant and pick up on a lot of emotional cues from their parents. So another good way to keep them relaxed is to make sure you are setting a good example by being calm, cool and relaxed as well. If you’re trying to comfort your child and ease their worries but are feeling stressed out and anxious at the same time, this won’t be very effective at keeping them settled. When parents remain calm and minimize stress, it shows children that there is nothing to be scared or worried about.
Explain What Will Happen During the Appointment
We often get scared about things we don’t understand. Our mind starts to race and conjure up ideas that can spin into a whirlwind of stressful emotions. The same applies to children. To prevent this, talk to them about their eye exam to help them understand it. Tell them about what will happen during the appointment, how the doctor will assess their eyes and why it’s important for keeping their eyes healthy.
Answer Their Questions
Kids are naturally curious, so they will likely have many questions about their eye exam. Take the time to answer them as best as you can and also include words of reassurance while you talk about it. It’s a good way to make the experience, like many firsts, a teachable moment where your child can learn more about the importance of their eyes.
Get a Book On Eye Exams
There are also books that you can pick up which are dedicated to helping children learn more about their vision, eyes and why eye exams are necessary. One classic book that’s ideal for this purpose is Arthur’s Eyes by Marc Brown. Sometimes, books and pictures can explain things better than we can.
When it’s time to take your child in for their very first eye exam, try a few of these strategies to help comfort your little one and reassure them that there is nothing to be scared about. At Laurier Optical, our eye doctors will take the very best care of your family, and we’ll take the time to explain and answer any questions to ease you or your child’s concerns. Contact us today to book an appointment!