Do you have that feeling that your child might, in fact, need glasses? Or maybe you want to start yearly checks on your child just to be on top of any changes that might have occurred? It might even just be a gut feeling that it is time to get your child’s eyes checked. Whatever it might be I want to share what you will need to know before you take your child for their first eye exam and some tips to help the first check go smooth.
“One in five children has a vision disorder. Not knowing any differently, many of these children accept poor vision and other eye problems as normal.” Image Optometry
What You Should Know Before Your Child’s First Eye Exam
1. At what age should I bring my child to see an Optometrist?
It is recommended for your children to check the health of their eyes and keep up with their constantly growing and changing bodies. Signs that might indicate that your child should see an eye doctor might include squinting, watery eyes, difficulty in school, trouble focusing, headaches and more, however not all children will show signs of eye strain making the yearly checkups that much more important.
It is still critical to get your youngsters’ eyes checked to prevent and discover potential eye disorders that came with birth. The recommended age by Image Optometry and Canadian Association of Optometry is listed below
– Infants and Toddlers (Birth to 24 months) Infants and toddlers should undergo their first eye examination between the ages of 6 and 9
-Preschool Children (2 to 5 years) Preschool children should undergo at least one eye examination between the ages of 2 and 5 years.
-School Age Children (6 to 19 years) School children aged 6 to 19 years should undergo an eye examination annually.
TIP: Image Optometry provides free eye exams services to children starting as early as three months old.
2. FREE eye exams for children!
“85% of learning is visual, so children who can’t afford vision correction are at a significant disadvantage.” Image Optometry
You will need to bring your child’s care card/personal health number with you in order to get the appointment free of charge. If you don’t have one, some fees may apply. With a health number children will not be charged for eye exams until the age of 19.
TIP: FREE Canucks games tickets are offered to selected winners if 2 people are getting their eyes checked at the same time at Image Optometry before December!
3. Prepare your child for their first eye exam
Read this article for some great tips on how to prepare your child before their eye exam appointment
4. Make an appointment
Call in and book an appointment, it is always a good idea if you are going in or another older sibling is also having an appointment so that any younger children see the procedure before it is their turn to go. Let the optometrist know that it is their first appointment, and they can be prepared to explain the procedures and help make your children most comfortable.
TIP: Try to arrive early to allow time to fill out any forms or documents for new patients.
With all of the above in mind, it is important that we encourage our children and take note of their personal cues. If you have a hunch that they need their eyes checked, make sure to book an appointment, follow our steps and know that they are taken care of. If you are looking unfamiliar with a great place to go check out Image Optometry.
Image Optometry would be a great place to start as they have multiple locations across the Fraser Valley (Vancouver – Chilliwack) and a good trustworthy reputation for providing a comfortable and professional experience for both children and adults.
This post is in partnership with Image Optometry. All views and opinions are my own.