Child Vision Awareness Month

Did you know that October is Child Vision Awareness Month? What a funny coincidence because I actually took the boys to their first optometrist appointment just a few days ago!

Step one – He gets to rest his chin and look into this super cool machine before going into the Doctor’s office.

A friend of mine had recommended a local optometrist in the west end of Ottawa (Kanata), Jennifer Winn Optometry so I decided to book my little dudes in for an appointment. And why not, because OHIP covers comprehensive exams from an optometrist or physician for anyone under the age of 20! It’s their way of encouraging parents to take their little ones for this very crucial appointment.

Someone thinks this chair is pretty cool. He’s looking ready to get started!
When is it my turn, Ma?

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that you start your first optometrist appointment when your child is 6 months and then revisit yearly after that. Who knew!? For Child Vision Awareness month, optometric associations across Canada dedicate their efforts to raise awareness of the impact undiagnosed vision problems can have on a child’s learning and development. I had absolutely no idea. Apparently, only 11.5% of children under the age of 4 and 22.6% of children under the age of 6 have ever been to an optometrist for an eye exam.

Dr. Winn making the eye exam so fun with cool cartoon images to look at.

Knowing what I’ve learned today, I’ll be religious about their yearly appointments and am thankful I got this great recommendation from a friend!

We started by booking online which Jennifer Winn Optometry makes incredible easy for you on their user-friendly website. It’s foolproof and you can get email reminders linked to your phone. Brillant!

Now THIS is cool!

Jax was pretty excited since he had seen an eye exam episode on one of his favourite shows, Caillou, so this really pumped him up and helped set up his expectations. The office had a bunch of fun stickers, books, colouring books and crayons to keep the kids occupied which is amazing. We didn’t wait long at all before we were led into the office to get started.

When they say comprehensive they aren’t kidding! It was extremely thorough and actually very engaging. Dr. Winn is excellent with children which makes the whole process fun and not at all scary. The boys got to try on all sorts of different sunglasses and they thought all the machines were super cool. I wasn’t so sure about Hudson since he’s so little but he really warmed up to her. She had lots of tricks up her sleeves to get the kids to cooperate and enjoy the experience.

They thought these little sunglasses they give you were pretty cool. Because their pupils are dilated for a while they need these on their way out.

We all left with smiles on our faces and an appointment booked for next year. I also have to call their office to book an appointment for myself since I haven’t had an exam since I was a child. I always thought it wasn’t necessary since I’ve never had any issues with vision, but I only recently learned that eye exams can detect symptoms of things that occur in other areas of your body such as diabetes, high blood pressure and brain tumors.

I highly encourage you to take your children to an optometrist if you haven’t already. And if you’re in my neck of the woods, this is a fantastic office. Curious, when was your last eye exam? And have you taken your kids? Looking forward to hearing from you!

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