How do I know if my child needs glasses?
Tips on recognizing vision problems and how to make your child wear glasses from Doc Smitty
There are two types of doctor as parents. One thinks that their child has everything dangerous they’ve ever read about or seen. The other blows everything off and assumes that their child is going to be fine. I am definitely the second.
Over the summer when I started to wonder if my soon-to-be first grader was having trouble seeing, I shocked myself (and my wife) by actually picking up the phone and calling to schedule him an appointment to have his eyes checked.
Our poor little guy was having to get up to walk over to the TV to check the score of the Rangers and was asking mom what time it was from the back seat, when he used to give us grief every minute we were late for church.
Here are three tips that might alert you to a vision problem in your child:
1. Sitting too close to the TV
2. Eye rubbing or watering
3. Squinting, closing one eye or tilting their head to see better
If you aren’t sure or have concerns, get your child’s eyes checked.
Vison screening should also be a part of school age checkups for your child. I have picked up plenty of kids with vision problems for which parents had no concerns.
Fortunately, we got our son checked out and in glasses just in time for the Rangers to make their second-half run. (Maybe it’s not such a bad thing he couldn’t see very well before the All-Star Break.)
Now that you’ve identified your child’s problem and he or she requires glasses, here are some tips for getting your child to actually wear them.
1. Make glasses cool. Talk positively about them at all times.
2. Make glasses routine. It’s just part of the day. On in the morning, off at night.
3. Make glasses helpful. Point out how much easier things are when your child can see.
4. Make glasses comfortable. Don’t pick out an uncomfortable pair and make sure the fit is right.
Justin Smith, M.D., is a Cook Children's pediatrician in Lewisville . He attended University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School and did his pediatric training at Baylor College of Medicine. He joins Cook Children's after practicing in his hometown of Abilene for four years. He has a particular interest in development, behavior and care for children struggling with obesity. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his 3 young children, exercising, reading and writing about parenting and pediatric health issues.