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403-547-5417
West Springs
403-242-0999
Creekside
403-516-2292

How to Prepare Your Child For Their First Visit to the Optometrist

Is it time for your child to receive their first eye exam? Here are some of the best tips from our Calgary kid’s optometrist on how to prepare your child for this checkup and what you can expect from the visit. 

Eyecare is extremely important to your child’s overall health and development, so it’s always best that visits to the kid’s optometrist begin early in life. At our Calgary eye clinic, our professional and friendly optometrists can conduct children’s eye exams to: 

  • Detect any visual problems 
  • Determine whether eyeglasses or contact lenses are the best option for your child
  • Diagnose, manage, and treat any eye health issues 
  • Ensure your child’s vision is developing properly 

Remember: A kid’s eye exam doesn’t have to be scary! Knowing how to prepare your child for the checkup is key to making the experience a fun and exciting one. 

Our Optometrists Help Best Protect Your Kid’s Vision and Eye Health 

At Blink Eyewear, we provide a wide range of eye health services for your entire family, from children’s eye exams to contact lens fittings and cataract management. Whatever your ocular needs, we have the experience and knowledge to ensure you always enjoy comfortable and clear vision. 

Want to know more? 

BOOK A CONSULTATION 

 

Your First Visit To the Children’s Eye Doctor: What to Expect 

An eye exam for children is different from those for adults and seniors. At Blink Eyewear, we use specifically designed charts that allow children to recognize shapes and pictures, instead of more traditional letters. 

Why is this important? This will allow our eye doctors to examine your child’s eyes even before they are able to read. 

When to Scheduled Your Child’s First Eye Exam 

Examining children’s eyes isn’t as straightforward as examining an adult’s eyes. Often, a child’s first comprehensive eye exam will take up to 2 hours and follow up exams can take up to 60 minutes. That’s why it’s so important to plan and schedule a time for your child’s first eye test. 

Tip: For infants and toddlers, avoid scheduling the visit during their regular naptime. You may also want to bring along a favorite toy or some snacks to keep your little one happy and comfortable. 

AT WHAT AGE SHOULD I FIRST TAKE MY CHILD TO THE OPTOMETRIST? 

During the eye exam, our eye doctors will check for: 

  • Any structural abnormalities in the eye
  • Conditions such as astigmatism, lazy eye, far-sightedness or near-sightedness 
  • Crossing or wandering of the eyes
  • Any other visual issue that may be affecting your child’s reading comfort or efficiency 
  • Whether your child requires vision correction (eyeglasses or contact lenses) 

 

Dilation: How to Prepare Your Child 

During your child’s first eye exam, the eye doctor may want to put some eye drops into your child’s eyes. Called dilation, this will allow the optometrist to check for any abnormalities within the eye and also relaxes your kid’s focus, so the eye doctor can best determine the right eyeglass prescription. 

Dilation is an important part of the eye exam but you must be aware that after dilation your child will: 

  • Experience blurred vision that can last up to 36 hours
  • Be more sensitive to sunlight temporarily (you may want to bring a hat and sunglasses from home for after the exam) 
  • Be able to return to school and participate in most activities. However, for the day you may want to exempt them from reading tasks and homework. 

 

4 Tips For Getting Your Child Ready For the Eye Exam 

Your child may feel a little anxious about visiting the eye doctor for the first time, but this doesn’t have to be a difficult experience. There are some things that you can do, as a parent, to ensure your child has a positive visit to your local eye clinic. 

These include: 

  • Explain the test beforehand. Discuss how the eye doctor will help improve their eyesight and get rid of any problems such as eye strain or headaches. If you can, demonstrate how the eye drops for dilation will be administered. 
  • Alleviate any worries about wearing eyeglasses. Children are often worried about wearing eyeglasses. Before the exam, show them pictures of frames that match their taste and preference, or explain that contact lenses could be an option (depending on your child’s age and maturity level). 
  • List down any questions. Before you visit the eye doctor, take note of any concerns or symptoms you’ve noticed regarding your child’s vision including squinting or headaches. 
  • Explain the doctor’s orders. After the eye exam, you must make sure that your child understands how to handle their eyeglasses, take care of their lenses, and that they understand their role in protecting their vision and eye health. 

 

Call Today

To find out more about how our Calgary eye doctors can help keep your child’s vision clear and comfortable, while protecting the health of their eyes, visit one of our three branches, Crowfoot (67 Crowfoot Terrace NW, T3G 4J8), West Springs (1009 873 85 St SW, T3H 0J5) or Creekside (12192 Symons Valley Rd NW, T3P 0A3).

Alternatively, you can contact our team at our Crowfoot Branch (403-547-5417), West Springs (403-242-0999) or Creekside (403-516-2292).


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