Parenting Perspective: A trip to the eye doctor

BALA CYNWYD, Pa. - Oct. 17, 2011

Dr. Ralph DiGiovanni of Bala Eye Care says many childhood vision problems that might've been missed in the past are now caught early, thanks to schools and pediatricians performing annual vision screening tests.

But it's still important for parents to look for signs that their children might be having trouble seeing.

Dr. DiGiovanni says, "Moms and Dads are usually pretty good at knowing their children, watching them do things differently, holding things close to their face, getting close to the TV. But the good thing is that most of the time, these screens are happening in the school (and) in the pediatrician's office."

The book or video "Arthur's Eyes" by Marc Brown is a great tool for parents who want to quell their children's fears before that first visit. Kids should expect to read an eye chart and get eye drops, which may make their vision blurry for a while after the exam, so it's a good idea to get homework done first.

Fourth-grader Meaghan Gunn told me she was a bit nervous before her checkup, but she learned it didn't hurt.

Meaghan didn't need glasses -- but she had fun trying some on. She said she thought glasses were "cool" and "pretty." And she added that noone made fun of the children in her school who wore them.

Click here for more information about eye health in children from the American Academy of Ophthamology.

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