Depending on where you live, your local school district may require a comprehensive eye exam before your child starts their formal schooling. However, since kids are naturally apprehensive about new experiences, you might be worried about how they will react during the appointment. Here are three things to explain to your kids about eye exams and why. 

1. Eye Health Is Important In the days leading up to your little one's first vision exam, talk with them about why eye health is important in the first place. Explain that if your child can't see well, doing things like following along with the teacher in class or even watching a movie at home may be more difficult. 

Talk briefly about the parts of a child's eye, and help them to understand that the goal of eye exams is to look for small problems that could interfere with their ability to see. Consider checking out a children's book about eye exams and vision problems from the library, so your child can broaden their scope of knowledge on the subject. 

2. Vision Exams Shouldn't Hurt Since your child may associate doctor's visits with uncomfortable experiences like receiving immunizations, it is crucial to explain that vision exams shouldn't hurt at all. Explain that while the doctor may look into your child's eyes with special lights, the process should be completely painless. 

Additionally, make sure your child knows that you will be there right alongside them the entire time, and that you have had eye exams of your own. Think about letting them bring a soft toy or blanket to the appointment so they have something to squeeze if they get nervous. 

3. Eye Exams May Feel Like a Game Talk with kids about the types of tests that will occur during their eye exam, such as reading letters or pictures off of the wall and choosing which slide seems clearer. Explain that the different elements of a vision exam can feel a lot like a game, and that the process can actually be fun. 

If you can tell that your child may not be seeing well, it is time to schedule an eye exam. Try to schedule the appointment on a day when your child doesn't have anything else to worry about, and work with them throughout the appointment to keep them calm and happy. Soon, you and your little ones will know more about their eye health, helping you to protect their quality of life.