If you used Child Eye Health & Safety Month as an opportunity to encourage patients with children to schedule eye exams for their kids, it’s likely that you’ll be seeing these patients within the next few months. It’s a good time, therefore, to think about how you can make these exams as kid-friendly as possible.
Visiting the eye doctor, especially for the first time, can be an overwhelming experience for kids, and it might make them a little nervous. Below are a few tips from Optometry Today and the Association of Optometrists (AOP) which can help to make it easier for them and for you when conducting the exam.
– Exams should be scheduled when the child is most alert. Morning appointments are usually better for younger children, while afternoons are better for older kids as “binocular vision issues are more likely to be apparent.”
– Make sure you see children promptly. The longer they have to wait the more restless and nervous they may become.
– Always have a parent or guardian present while the exam takes place. In addition to keeping them calm, they can help explain the process in a way that their child will understand.
– Build a relationship with the child by asking questions to break the ice. Ask them about school, their favorite books or activities, as well as specific questions related to their vision, such as whether or not they can clearly see what’s on the whiteboard at school.
– Make it fun by having a few small toys in the room. Consider rewarding kids with a sticker or small prize after the exam, and be sure to praise them for a job well-done as you are completing different tests.
The AOP suggests integrating computer screens or other gadgets into the exam, which are usually appealing to children. For instance, practitioners who use our optomap exam can review images of the child’s retina with both the parent and child right away. Kids are always intrigued by the inner workings of their bodies and will likely be excited to “go inside” their own eyes!
Do you have any tricks or tips for conducting children’s eye exams? Share with us below.
Visit our website to learn more about the optomap retinal exam and how you can add it to your practice!