Whether you are concerned that your toddler might have a vision problem or you simply want to make sure that your child's vision is healthy, a trip to the optometrist can be great for your child's eye health and your peace of mind. Your little one, however, may be nervous about this visit. There are some things you can do to prepare your child for the visit. Use this guide to help plan your toddler's first trip to the optometrist.
Check out a few books from your local library about vision and glasses, and read the books together. It may be helpful to find books containing cartoon characters your child enjoys, as this can help him or her to relate to the experiences of the characters in the book. Be sure to give your child a chance to ask questions as you read together, and talk about the different reasons that caring for your vision is important. If you are concerned your child may need glasses, look for books about children getting glasses to help calm your child's fears.
Tour The Optometrist's Office
Ask if it is possible to bring your child to the optometrist's office early so he or she can take a tour. Have your little one try on a few pairs of glasses to see how he or she looks, and arrange to take turns sitting in the exam chair. You may even want to schedule an appointment for yourself and have your child watch to see how easy and painless an eye exam is. If possible, have the optometrist demonstrate the equipment and the different types of tests your child will undergo to help make everything seem a little less intimidating.
Reward Good Behavior
Work out a special treat in advance that your child can look forward to if he or she does a good job at the appointment. This could be a special toy or a trip for ice cream after the visit. Remember that the treat should be given regardless of the results of the eye exam, so long as your toddler does a good job of cooperating with the optometrist.
If your child is prescribed glasses, take some extra time to try on different frames before you leave the office. Let your child pick a few styles he or she likes, and then come back the next day to decide which pair to get. Making the decision right away might be difficult for your little one, especially if he or she is having a difficult time accepting the idea of wearing glasses.