JUNE is Child Vision Awareness Month. Getting the word out about children’s vision problems is easier than you think. Start with spreading the word in your own office. You and your staff have multiple opportunities to let parents know about the importance of children having examinations. From the time that patients call to make an appointment, they can be told it’s Child Vision Awareness Month. Although their children may have had a vision test at their pediatrician or school, an exam with the eye doctor is more comprehensive and tests for things such as vision-related learning problems.
Once in the office, technicians can let parents know that with all the advanced technology there is today, it’s easier to detect vision problems in kids that can be missed by simple vision screenings, which merely involve reading letters on an eye chart. In the exam room, practitioners can explain how children’s vision care is essential to every kid’s development. Discuss with parents how experts say that over 80% of what a child learns in school is presented visually, so making sure their kids have good vision can make a big difference in their academic performance. This is no small issue. Studies have shown that children who have uncorrected visual disorders are much more likely to be poor learners.
When their kids do need vision correction or a problem has been detected, parents will obviously look to you for your professional recommendations. Many times, parents aren’t sure how their children will feel about wearing glasses. How well they will take care of them or avoid losing them are other common concerns. This opens the door for a good conversation between either yourself and the parents or your optician and the parents about the many features of glasses that make them durable and safe.
Parents also typically have questions about whether their kids are an appropriate age to wear contact lenses. Some parents don’t realize the ease of care of today’s contact lenses and the advantages of products such as daily disposable lenses or orthokeratolgy lenses.
In the end, growing your practice with more young patients comes down to educating their parents and letting them know firsthand how important healthy eyes and good vision are to their development. Once the month of June is over, there is no reason to stop promoting children’s vision and the benefits of eye exams at an early age. The month should simply serve as a launching pad for promoting it every day.
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