Going to the eye doctor can be a pretty scary event for a little kid. Heck, going to any doctor at any age can be worrisome and stressful and I like to keep the stress level in my home as low as possible. So when appointments are necessary, I like to make the process as smooth as possible. Even though I do not want to see my son scared, going to the eye doctor an important necessity.


How often do you take your child to the doctor?

Eye health is important to consider when preparing kids to go back to school. According to the American Optometric Association, 80 percent of what we learn is through our eyes, making a comprehensive eye exam one of the most important ways parents can give their child the best chance at success this school year. Eye exams are important for your child’s back-to-school success.


How to keep your kids cool at the eye doctor

1Bring Something To Do

If you keep your child busy, he will not have the time to think about what is coming up.

2Choose The Glasses Ahead Of Time

Jakobi loves to pick out his glasses. He always has a fun time trying them all on and looking in the mirror. Glasses are treated like a reward in our family and not a hindrance.

3Get To Know The Staff

When you are personable with your doctor, optometrist, and office staff they will be more apt to have a vested interest in your child. When everyone is familiar and friendly it can help to ease your child’s concerns. Jakobi feels comfortable at our eye doctor’s office because every time we go we talk to all the staff. On occasion they’ll even change the channel on the television to a cartoon or PBS. A child-friendly eye-doctor is a must!

4Go To The Bathroom

If you alleviate all the peripheral discomforts, everyone’s life is easier. It is much easier to solve a problem before it becomes one.

5Bring Snacks

Sometimes the best distraction is to fill the belly. Some offices don’t allow food and drink, but I bet you can sneak in some fruit snacks the doctor won’t mind.

6Explain The Procedure

Let your child know the eye drops are coming. I explain the drops sometimes are uncomfortable, but it only lasts a little bit. Jakobi does well when he knows the where’s and why’s of a situation so the knowledge of the dilation process is interesting to him.

7Go At Your Child’s Pace

My kids are super unique, and so are yours. They are special. If you have to do one eye and stop for a while, then that is what you do. When Jakobi went to the doctor the last time, they did one drop and he freaked out. All my prep and he was just not willing to do the second eye. He said it was the worst thing ever and his eye was going to die and fall out! How could I argue with that logic. I know the eyedrops-in-the-eye portion of the visit is hardest for me as well so I truly empathize. I just said, “Okay, one eye it is!” further explaining how it was okay with me if he wanted to only see well on one-side, “It might hinder your ability to throw and catch a ball but it is your decision to make.” We sat down in the office to wait for the optometrist and before the one eye was dilated, he wanted to try again.

8Comfort Your Child

When the uncomfortable procedure is taking place, don’t be afraid to hop up on the seat with him, hold his hand or comfort your kid however you do best. Do not worry about what is deemed as proper, be there for your child. It is the most proper action of all.

9Praise The Effort

Once completed, remark how brave he was, acknowledge a job well done. Tell him he is handsome in his glasses and take tons of pics of your courageous kid. The next time you go to the doctor it will be easier. Jakobi has started to coach Mason (2 years younger) about his upcoming appointment saying he will hold his hand and that it only hurts for a minute.

Headache complaints?From smartphones, to tablets, laptops, televisions, and even CFL and LED lighting, today’s family is surrounded by devices that produce blue light. As kids and parents alike spend an increasing amount of time staring at screens, their exposure to blue light is reaching unprecedented levels. This has led to an alarming increase in reports of digital eye strain, especially amongst children who are experiencing tired, sore eyes, headaches, and trouble focusing. As blue light enters the eye, it causes visual strain because it is defocused in front of the retina and scatters, creating an effect that is visually perceived as glare. The eyes are then forced to work overtime to focus and process the wavelengths of light.

Other key findings from the 2016 Eye Health Index:

The top 10 eye-healthy cities in 2016:

  1. Reno, Nevada
  2. Boise, Idaho
  3. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  4. Des Moines, Iowa
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina
  6. Redding, California
  7. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  8. Fayetteville, Arkansas
  9. Denver, Colorado
  10. Tulsa, Oklahoma

VSP Vision Care recently released its Eye Health Index, featuring the top 10 eye-healthy cities in the United States. New this year, VSP also unveiled the 10 U.S. cities where the importance of an annual eye exam is not always top of mind.

This is concerning because eye doctors are often the first to spot signs of chronic conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It’s critical that you visit your eye doctor annually to ensure the health of your eyes as well as your wellness overall.

In the post, Five Tips for Protecting Kids from Blue Light, I discussed just how important this issue is and how to protect your kids. The first tip is Visit the eye doctor!

The 10 least eye-healthy cities in 2016 are:

  1. Cleveland, Ohio
  2. Bakersfield, California
  3. Merced, California
  4. Akron, Ohio
  5. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  6. Detroit, Michigan
  7. Stockton, California
  8. Santa Rosa, California
  9. Bridgeport, Connecticut
  10. Salinas, California

Youth eye health trending up in least eye-healthy cities. While Bakersfield, Merced, Stockton, Albuquerque and Salinas are some of the least eye-healthy overall, they rank among the cities where the highest percentage of residents under 17 are receiving eye exams.

Gender eye health gap. In general, women are more diligent about their eye health than men. In all of the cities surveyed, more women visited their eye doctors annually than men. 58 percent of eye exam patients were women compared to 42 percent men.