Maybe it was the teacher sending a letter home, a trip to the pediatrician or you noticed some of the signs-holding a book very near his or her face, squinting, or complaining of headaches. Maybe your child even told you themselves they can’t see the board at school. Whatever the case your child needs an eye exam and possibly to start wearing glasses. A child may need glasses as young as a few months of age, but usually between the ages 6 to 12 years.
Prepare your child for their first pair of glasses by:
- Explain have glasses will improve vision – You must explain to your child how glasses will improve their vision by providing examples of the challenges of their poor vision. If your child needs to sit close to the TV to see, explain that glasses will allow them to sit comfortably on the couch to enjoy their favorite TV show or movie.
- Show your child examples of people who wear glasses. If there is one person who your child adores and wears glasses, make this connection for them. Celebrities, athletes or even fictional characters like Harry Potter or Velma from Scooby-Doo.
- Tell them what to expect at their eye exam. Fear of the unknown can scare adults, and children are no different. If you are due for your own annual eye exam, you might consider booking an appointment time immediately before, so your child can see what happens. That gives you and the doctor to talk about what each machine measures and why those measurements are important.
- Visit the eye doctor
Tips for your child’s first pair of glasses:
- Let your child choose their frames-Make it fun. The biggest piece of advice is to let your child decide which frame they like best. When they select their favorite frame, they start to feel a sense of ownership and pride in their choice. They’ll be the ones wearing them every day, and the transition to daily wear will be a little smoother if they’ve got a pair they really like.
- Getting the right fit-An improper fitting could not only make the glasses uncomfortable but also impair your child from looking through the optical center of the lens.
- Be pro-glasses-They’re going to take their cues from you about how to feel about it, so put your most positive face forward.
- Set goals and take your time-For some kids, wearing glasses all day will take a little time. Start slowly wearing them for maybe an hour here and there, then two hours, etc… Until your child can wear them all day.
- Adjustment period-some children quickly adapt to their new glasses, a transition with a few uncomfortable side effects may be expected. Remember, these symptoms are normal and aren’t cause for alarm. However, if you are concerned, contact your eye doctor for guidance.
- Teach your child proper eyeglass care-Teach your child how to correctly clean the lenses (always use a soft cloth made for lens cleaning) and how to safely store glasses in a case when they’re not in use. Especially with younger children, it’s normal for them to forget to clean their glasses and then feel unhappy about seeing blurry images due to smudged lenses. Teach them to take their glasses off and put them on with two hands so the arms aren’t over-extended. Patiently teach and remind your child to care for the glasses until this becomes a natural habit.