Although it can feel slightly overwhelming when it is your child’s first eye examination, your child’s eye health is incredibly important and should always be taken seriously. That is why it is crucial you do your best to never miss any appointments.
All children under the age of 16 are guaranteed a free NHS eye test. This service is brilliant for all caregivers, and we highly recommend that you use it!
There are a few steps that our expert team here at Vision Centre would like to share with you. We hope that they give you some insight as to how to approach the subject and situation with your child.
Here is our guide on how to prepare your child for their first eye examination.
1. Remind your child that they will be okay.
Having a positive mindset from the beginning will help towards making your child’s first eye examination a stress-free one. Be encouraging, comforting and create excitement where you can.
Talk your child through why they are going, what to expect and how much fun it will be! Remind them that they will be getting the opportunity to see and learn about new things which they can tell their friends about.
Keeping your child feeling safe and secure will also help during the appointment. The eye examination will not cause any harm to your child, but it can feel overwhelming for them. That is why we suggest that as the caregiver you remain calm, comfort your child if they are scared and be there for them when they need you.
2. Make your child think of the eye exam as something fun.
Before your visit, it is always good to explain to your child what they can expect to happen. This gives them time to process, ask questions and understand the situation. It also helps reduce unexpected surprises, which often can be upsetting for young children.
A fun approach to this tip is by encouraging role play. Act out the process and have a fun time doing so. This will help your child create a positive association with the experience and should help them feel more at ease when they come in for their first eye examination.
3. Reward your child once it is over.
Children take joy in being rewarded, especially when they have worked hard or behaved well. After your visit, why not reward your child with a special treat? It could be a sweet or a trip to the park or even a special toy? This will not only help them feel better about the experience but, they will also begin to understand that being brave is a good thing!
If you feel as though your child hadn’t behaved well, consider talking it through with them afterwards. Try to approach them fairly, it can be a stressful situation for children and when it is their first time, small hiccups can be expected to happen.
4. Give yourself and your child plenty of time ahead.
To help get you and your child prepared for their first eye examination, be sure to plan ahead! Give plenty of time for travel, parking and preparing before your appointment.
You will find it a lot easier to process any hiccups along the way if you have the time. Tantrums can be solved, questions can be answered and cuddles can be had before attending. This will all help ease both your child’s mind and your own.
Here at Vision Centre, we pride ourselves on not only our variety of excellent services but, that we also are a friendly team of experts! We always do our best to make you and your child feel comfortable when you visit.
We understand that it can feel a bit daunting when booking your child’s first eye examination. That is why we are always here to help, so please feel free to contact us.