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5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Sit Still During an Eye Exam

Posted Aug 13, 2020 | Tips, Tricks & Tech

For many adults, a trip to the eye doctor is a piece of cake. You schedule an appointment with your local optometrist, breeze through the tests and procedures, and continue on with your day.

For kids, it’s a different story.

The most important part of an eye exam—and the most difficult part for kids—is staying still. If you are a parent who struggles to get your fidgety, squirmy little one to sit still during an eye exam, you’ve come to the right place!

We’ve created a list of 5 tips to help you convince kids to stay put during an eye exam:

1. Prepare them in advance

Let your kids know they’ll be going to the eye doctor ahead of time, and will have to sit still while getting their eyes checked. By giving them a little extra time to process the information, it’s more likely they will be well-behaved and less fidgety.

Warning: Springing it on them at the last minute will result in utter chaos. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

2. Be positive

Associating “good” words with going to the eye doctor will have a positive psychological effect on your children. Maintaining an upbeat tone and smiling will further convince them that it will be a great experience.

If you really want to go the extra mile, schedule your comprehensive eye exam at the same time. This way, they can watch you do it before they hop into the chair themselves. If mom or dad can do it, so can I!

3. Turn it into a game

As soon as it’s time to sit still, challenge your little one to a statue-standoff. Whoever can stay still the longest wins! This way, the exam goes smoothly for you, your child, and your optometrist. When they win, it will serve as another positive association with going to the eye doctor. Because what kid doesn’t like winning?!

4. Role-play beforehand

At home, try simulating an eye exam. Test your children by asking them to read signs and labels from a distance. Replicate a cover test by asking them to cover their left and right eyes, one at a time, with a spoon. This way, they’ll be an eye exam pro by the time their appointment rolls around!

You can also practice sitting still at home during meals. Activities that require focus, such as coloring or puzzles, improve memory and motor skills, too!

5. Reward your child with a treat

Like the classic lollipop-after-the-doctor reward, you can offer a treat to your child for behaving and sitting still during an eye exam. Whether it’s a scoop of ice cream, a movie of their choice, or staying up past their bedtime, kids love earning rewards!

If you’re ready to put our tips to the test, schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child with one of our doctors. Let us know how it goes by mentioning us on Twitter @shopeyeconic!