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How to Prepare Your Child for an Eye Exam

How to Prepare Your Child for an Eye Exam

If your child is nervous about their trip to the eye doctor, you may be wondering how to prepare your child for an eye exam. Fortunately, we see thousands of children every year and are here to share insight from other parents who have had the same issue. 

How should you prepare your child for an eye exam?

Step #1: Let your child know that the eye doctor is there to help. 

The optometrist will try to make sure your child feels comfortable and discuss any concerns. If your child is old enough, the optometrist may ask them questions. Otherwise, they will turn to you, as the parent, to see what is concerning you.

During the exam, they will ask your child to name letters and other items. They may also add drops to your child’s eyes before performing tests to check your child’s vision. 

Step #2: Explain the tests. 

When taking your child to an eye exam, tell your child what tests the doctor will run. One of these tests is a visual acuity test. During the visual acuity test, the doctor will see how well your child sees close up and far away. 

A pupil test will also be done to find out how your child’s eyes react to bright lights. During an eye movement test, the doctor will move an object in front of your child’s eyes to see what the eyes do. This is what is included in a child's eye exam, and it’s nothing to fear.

Step #3: Clarify how often they need to go.

Set expectations by letting your child know how often they should go to the eye doctor. We suggest taking your child in for their first eye exam at 6 months old and once again between ages 3 and 5

From ages 6 to 18, we recommend your child has an annual eye exam to see if their vision has changed.

Summary of How to Prepare Your Child for an Eye Exam

When you prepare your child, the eye exam becomes easy. Letting your child know what to expect at the child’s eye exam will alleviate the pressure. 

Here is how to prepare your child for an eye exam:

    • Explain to your child that the doctor will do everything possible to help them feel comfortable.
    • Inform your child of what will happen while they are there. 
    • Tell your child that the vision tests are standard and that they should happen regularly to promote healthy vision.

Assuring your child that you will be by their side throughout the exam can also bring them comfort. 


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