Optometry Today recently ran an article about raising children’s eye care awareness.
As many as one in five school-aged children has an undiagnosed vision problem. This would affect any of us. But unlike adults, our kids may not know how clear the world is supposed to look.
This is particularly concerning. Not only can an eye health problem worsen, it can significantly impact a child’s ability to stay safe, to learn, communicate and play.
I have a video up on my site that shows my granddaughter Jada putting on her new glasses for the first time.
When she was just two years old, Jada was prescribed -6.00 lenses. It was a diagnosis that finally allowed her to see the world clearly for the first time.
Optometry Today offers some ideas for how optometrists can be advocates for children’s eye care. They include reaching out to schools to get the message out to parents and teachers.
The easiest way to help your youngest patients
During my 17-year career as a recaller, I developed a number of strategies to get children in to see their optometrist.
For those outside the industry, it’s easy to forget that most eye health exams in Canada are covered for children and youth under the age of 18. This means that there is little to no cost for a parent to take their child to see an OD – a great starting point.
Today, I coach my trainees to remind parents that this is a government-sponsored service. I also make sure they have the knowledge to inform parents about the importance of child eye health.
I check to see that the database they use with is up-to-date. It should reflect when their young patients are eligible for another exam, unless their OD recommends one sooner.
Something as simple as suggesting parents bring their kids along during their regular appointment can make a difference. So can recalling and scheduling families for after-school and weekend appointments. These are just a couple of ways to get more kids through your practice door, and on their way to better eye health.
You can read the Optometry Today article here.
To learn more about my recalling strategies for families with children under 18, please get in touch.