There’s been a lot of good advice on help on a lot of the posts and comments on this blog, so I’m compiling them into one page full o’ help. I’ll keep updating this page as we go. Please feel free to leave comments with more thoughts, or if you have a question you’d like to see answered here, leave a comment and I’ll post it on the main blog page and see what help we can get.
If you just found out that your child needs glasses, and you’re looking for some information and reassurance, you may want to take a look at our post on just starting out.
- Reasons for going to get your child’s vision checked out
- Making the trip to the eye doctor easier
- Things to look for (and ask about) in a place to get glasses
- Choosing glasses
- Getting them to wear glasses in the beginning
- Keeping the glasses on once they’re (at least a little bit) used to them
- Eye patches and patching
- Recommendations for doctors and shops (goes to the recommendations page)
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- Pictures of her with flash show the flash reflection in different parts of the eye (example picture).
- Problem identified at 3 year old (or any) vision screening
- Family history of needing glasses at an early age
- ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity)
- Noticed his eyes were ‘jiggly like a sunny side up egg’ and ‘wobbly like jello’
- One eye is bigger than the other (example pictures)
- Both eyes appear to be growing larger and bulging
- Extreme aversion to sunlight (“photophobia”)
- No red reflex in her eye (caught at 2 week check up)
- Excessive tearing
- Eyes are crossing or wandering, even if only occasionally
- Squinting at TV and computer, books, and anything else he tried to see details on
- An unusually large pupil or white reflection in one of the pupils
- Eyes that are red, watery or irritated
- Closing one eye during tasks such as reading or watching TV
- Avoidance of detailed near-work such as reading, writing or drawing
- Needing to use a finger to keep place while reading (after learning to read)
- Frequent headaches, especially if during school or while reading
- An unexpected difficulty with reading
- Complaints of seeing double
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- If you’re bringing your child in because of misaligned eyes, bring photos that show the misalignment, particularly those that were taken with flash that show the flash reflection in different parts of the eyes. This way, even if your child’s eyes seem aligned on the day of the exam, the doctor can still see the misalignment.
- Don’t schedule the visit for nap times or times when your child is tired.
- Reassure your child that it will be fun. Mostly it is like playing games (really).
- Try to fill out any paperwork and information online or in advance
- Bring toys and snacks
- Almost every child is afraid of eyedrops, but don’t lie to them and say that they aren’t going to get them. Some doctors use a special spray that is less scary for kids.
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- A policy that allows you to replace the lens if the prescription changes within 30 (or some reasonable amount) of days.
- The staff should know how to deal with small children, and should be comfortable working with kids even when they’re crying and/or squirmy.
- The staff should be knowledgeable in fitting glasses to small children, and be able to do it quickly and accurately.
- Warranty against scratches on the lenses, especially if you pay for scratch resistant coating.
- They should offer, and be happy to provide, free adjustments to the glasses whenever you need them. Your kid will be hard on the glasses, they’ll get bent, the screws may fall out, or whatever the reason, they’ll stop fitting nearly as well. You should feel comfortable stopping back in, a lot, to get them re-adjusted.
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- Make sure that the lenses you buy are polycarbonate or Trivex for your children, not plastic or glass. This is a safety issue. You can read more about children’s lenses at A Child’s Eyes.
- Don’t be afraid to consider brightly colored and fun. Your child will have plenty of time for understated, sophisticated glasses when they’re grown. Bright colors look good on kids and reflect their fun side (also, brightly colored glasses are easier to find in the grass).
- Go when they’re well-rested
- We have two frames for C because we had to get a new frame when her prescription changed for the first time. (We didn’t want her to be without her glasses for a week.) The last time her prescription changed, I only purchased new lenses and re-used one of the existing frames. Saved some money that way by recycling through two frames until she outgrows them. (Probably not as cost effective if her prescription doesn’t change as much since I would have an extra pair of frames hanging around.)
- Thinking of ordering glasses online? Check out our guide to ordering glasses for your children online.
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- Talk about how nice he or she looks in the glasses
- When putting glasses on your child, do it with a smile. While we were trying glasses on Zoe, she was crying and we were getting upset, too, and we kept apologizing to her. The person we worked with recommended that instead, we show her how happy we are when we put glasses on her (even when we aren’t). It didn’t completely stop her crying, but she definitely calmed down a notch once we started acting happier.
- If your child keeps taking off their glasses, simply put them back on with a smile. If they don’t let you put them on, don’t make a big deal, simply set them aside and try again in a few minutes. It took about 2 weeks for Zoe to get to a point where she leaves the glasses on most of the time.
- Take off your child’s glasses when they’re in the car – at least at the beginning. It’s likely they’ll take off their glasses and throw them somewhere where they might fall out of the car or get smushed when you open the door.
- When she put on her pair of glasses, I rewarded her with stamps and explained that each times she wears her glasses we’ll show her how proud we are by giving her a stamp. She seems motivated by this and put them on 4 more times before dinner.
- Show them glasses-wearing characters (like Arthur, or Harry Potter for older kids). See our page of books for kids for more ideas.
- We bribed him with a new Thomas toy if he would put them on and leave them alone, so he did, and Daddy let him pick out the most expensive Thomas set that Target had.
- 1. We read the books from the recommended list before and after the Ophthalmologist visit.
2. On glasses pick up day, we stopped and got a cherry ICEE treat (something we never had before) and said we were celebrating being able to see better. We did this late afternoon and started letter her “practice” wearing them. Letting her take them off whenever she wanted. We also talked about glasses rules.
TAKE GLASSES OFF WITH 2 HANDS
ALWAYS GIVE THE GLASSES TO MOM OR PAPA
3. On Day 1, we invited her best friend over and watched Arthur gets glasses together. We then had her best friend give her a toy Arthur. He has glasses and the manufacture does a good job securing them on. Elly, has tried many times to get them off and has not succeeded.
4. We also set up a glasses-free zone. I wanted her to have the freedom to take them off at anytime, so we set up her room as a glasses-free zone. This worked well because she has to take them off for naps and bedtime. Anytime she took her glasses off, we told her it was time to play in her bedroom and moved her there. By the 2nd day, she would stand at her doorway and scream “glasses please”
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- If they’re taking their glasses off during tantrums, perhaps quickly taking them from your child before the expected fling while saying “you’re mad, give mommy your glasses”. At least you validate the feeling, and give a reasonable action to follow.
- Use a glasses strap to keep the glasses on and in the right spot
- A commenter (Megan Inge) designed an inconspicuous strap that is easy to attach and detach. She wrote, “I hope this will help other kids with glasses to look cool and not NERDY!” http://www.inconspecuous.com.au
- Have your child wear their glasses to the playground or area where there are more kids so they get used to being around kids and see that they (the other kids) probably won’t care about their glasses.
- At school, ask if their teacher would be willing to wear glasses (if they have contacts), or choose books about kids wearing glasses.
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Check out Amomofelly’s Patch Challenge series! She and her daughter test and review a different patch each Friday and rates them on Cuteness Factor, Durability, Full Eye Occlusion, Performs with sweat, and Patching Support. She also provides pricing and contact information. Amblyopia Kids also has a great series of patch reviews, too!
- When he’s obviously disturbed by the patch, dad wears one too, as does mom. Not to mention his favorite stuffed animals, Tiger and Monkey.
- When we started the patching he really fought it and dad had to wear a patch too and carry him around the block so that he wouldn’t take it off.
- He seems to wear the patches when we go places more than when we are in the house.
- We have been calling it ’sucker patch’ the past few weeks and he gets a sucker when he wears it to distract him to leave it on. He usually doesn’t even finish the sucker, but when he knows he is going to get a sucker he’ll leave it on his face until he gets used to it.
- We point out raccoons, pirates, ’super why’ cartoon wears a disguise that I tell him is a ‘patch’ over his eyes.
- The patch we use goes over her glasses, and she is used to wearing her glasses, so does not fight the patch.
- Although she doesn’t like the patch, she knows that it is helping her see better and as a result she is doing much better with it. While she does get comments (are you a pirate? what’s wrong with your eye? etc.), she has gotten to the point of explaining about her “bad eye” (her words) and how she is strengthening it with her patch.
- I try to give him as much power over decision making as I reasonably can – do you want to put your patch on in the morning and get your time in, or in the afternoon? You may have to wear it to the park if you choose afternoon. / What pattern would you like today?
- The best patches for kids are the opaque adhesive patches.. you can find fun patterns or you can get the nude color ones. These are best for children so they can’t take it off as easily.
- Try putting down medical tape first around the area (it doesn’t hurt as much when you take off the sticky) and place the patch on top of that.
- I made her a tree poster, with lots of empty branches. Every day, when we take her patch of after six hours, she attaches it to a branch because after all a tree cannot be naked. Every time she fills up a branch with patches (about every week to 10 days), she gets a special treat. See a picture of the patch tree in this post.