tjmtoms’ post about their first eye exam got me thinking again about how tough these eye exams can be, not just for our kids, but for us, as well. And I’m wondering if there are things that could make it easier for us. What suggestions would you give an eye doctor who was going to specialize in pediatrics? These could be things that your current clinic does really well, or things that you think would make it work better.
But first, I have to start be saying that I can only imagine how difficult it must be to work with such small kids, who really can’t tell you what’s going on, and don’t understand why they are having these exams. I know I really appreciate the kindness and patience of Zoe’s ophthalmologist.
So here are a few things I can think of that have helped (or would help) with eye exams:
- It’s really, really hard to focus and absorb what we’re being told when our child is crying. And unfortunately, eye exams are often upsetting to our kids. Give us 5 minutes to quiet our child down before trying to explain what’s going on with their eyes, or if that’s not possible, give us a phone number and time that we could call and discuss it when we’re not so distracted.
- Related to that. This is often a whole lot for us to absorb, especially at our first exams when we probably weren’t expecting to find out that our child had a vision problem. Most of these problems aren’t in family health books, and we probably don’t know anyone who’s children had these problems, and the information on the Internet can be pretty contradictory and frankly, frightening. Giving us as much detail as we can understand, using the correct terminology is so helpful. In fact, having a sheet or brochure with explanations of various terms and aspects that we could look over later would be extremely helpful.
- Have a list of local or trusted online glasses providers. Again, we probably don’t have friends that we can turn to for a referral for glasses for babies. And our preferred optical shop may not have the frames or the expertise.
- (This one is a little less serious…) If you’re going to give our kids small toys as favors after the exam, can they be age appropriate? Being told to cut out the bead eyes off of the finger puppet is, well, I given that we’re at an eye clinic, I guess it’s fitting, but it still feels a little weird.
So what other suggestions would you have? And what about for parents taking their child to their first eye exam – any suggestions for parents to make it easier?