Apart from signifying the end of summer, back-to-school season introduces another opportunity to redefine our potential.

For little ones in particular, it’s also a time of heightened learning and growth. Not only are they preparing to tackle new subjects and classes, it’s also a time for them to reintroduce a more grown-up version of themselves to the classmates they’ve missed over the summer. That first-day feeling is one of excitement and nervousness, and as parents or caregivers, you’ll want to help them be prepared so that they can have the best experience possible.

A key component of this is ensuring they have the tools to see and feel their best, and a children’s eye exam will help you get there. Here’s what you should know about children’s eye exams at FYidoctors.

Even playtime and extra curricular activities employ numerous vision skills. Plus, as children get older, more is demanded of their vision, as textbook fonts become smaller, and time allotted to reading increases in later grades.

While students settle into their classrooms this fall, it’s important to keep vision health in mind. That’s why we’re sharing six key vision skills your child should have in order to excel this school year.

How often should you book children’s eye exams?

We recommend scheduling your child’s first eye exam at six months of age and then booking eye exams annually. If you have a family history of vision problems, it’s especially important to stay on top of eye exams. This will allow you to get ahead of issues that can lead to vision loss or other serious problems if left untreated.

How can vision problems affect children at school?

All eye exams include a series of tests that evaluate a child’s vision and check for eye diseases. These tests are designed to evaluate different aspects of vision health so that preventative or corrective measures can be taken. When eye problems are diagnosed early on, they can also be treated most effectively. This makes them an essential step in your child’s healthcare routine—but that’s not all.

Untreated vision problems can also be detrimental to your child’s confidence, grades, and happiness.

School-age children are learning about themselves and their surroundings every day—and there’s a lot for them to keep up with. But, when they don’t have the tools to succeed, they might place blame on themselves for falling behind.

As Dr. Bunny Virk, an optometrist at FYidoctors, explains, “A rising basketball star may think they can’t shoot because they’re struggling with their depth perception. Or a child is thought to have behavioural issues because they can’t stay focused on a board that’s too difficult for them to read. Issues like these are common and can often be amended with corrective and preventative vision care.”

What should you expect during a children’s eye exam?

At FYidoctors, we aim to make eye exams an experience that children and parents can look forward to.

Depending on a child’s age, optometrists will use engaging tools like finger puppets, cartoons, and even the occasional magic trick to make appointments fun and memorable.

“When children are nervous, it can be difficult for them to focus on the tests performed during an eye exam. We want them to feel at ease, so we take the appointment at their pace. The more smiles there are in the room, the easier it is for them to relax,” says Dr. Bunny Virk.

Optometrists will often consult with parents or caregivers to get a deeper understanding of a child’s vision health. They may ask about their performance in school, or if you’ve noticed any signs that they are struggling with their vision.

How can parents or caregivers help children prepare?

It’s often a fear of the unknown that causes children to be nervous about their first eye exams—but there’s nothing for them to worry about!

On the way to their appointment, chat with them about how fun the experience will be so that they’re excited. Once you arrive, our team will work with you and your child to ensure they’re ready for each part of the exam, with plenty of games and other activities to help them along.

Dr. Bunny Virk elaborates on this, explaining that “Giving kids choices also gives them more confidence. For example, we’ll ask which machine they’d like to start with. They get to feel like the boss but we’re still getting through the appointment while having fun. If they’re nervous, we can always take a break and come back to parts of the exam as well. If that doesn’t work, we do what we can and can always schedule another appointment if it’s needed.”

What to look for when shopping for children’s glasses

FYidoctors is proud to offer single-vision, progressive, and specialty lenses that are manufactured using industry-leading HOYA designs and processes. This contributes to their durability, which is a must for any pair of children’s glasses.

Quality-made frames that have flexible hinges can also contribute to longevity. However, having a protection plan is highly recommended.

Book a comprehensive child’s eye exam to ensure they’re set up to succeed this school year.