The Ultimate Guide to Your Child’s First Eye Exam: A Must-Read for Single Parents

As a single parent, taking my child for their first eye exam was both a nerve-wracking and enlightening experience. When Ryder had his initial eye examination, I never anticipated the insights that would unfold about his vision and overall eye health. It was a moment that opened up a new realm of awareness for me as a parent.

The first time I walked into the optometrist’s office with Ryder, I was filled with a mix of emotions. Little did I know that this visit would reveal crucial information about his eyesight that I had never noticed before. From the importance of early eye exams for children to the potential implications of undetected vision issues, every aspect of the appointment shed light on the significance of prioritizing kids’ eye health.

Discovering the need for glasses and potential eye issues during Ryder’s first eye exam was a pivotal moment that highlighted the value of proactive eye care for children. It reiterated the importance of regular check-ups and early intervention to ensure optimal eye health and visual development. With this newfound knowledge, I embarked on a journey of understanding and supporting Ryder’s visual needs to help him thrive.

Navigating the world of kids’ eye exams as a single parent comes with its challenges and revelations. Through my own experience with Ryder’s first eye exam, I learned the importance of staying informed, proactive, and attentive to signs that may indicate underlying vision problems. Join me as I delve deeper into the essential aspects of prioritizing children’s eye health and the proactive steps single parents can take to safeguard their child’s vision.

Importance of Kids’ First Eye Exam

Taking my son, Ryder, for his first eye exam was an eye-opening experience for me as a single parent. The optometrist’s insights revealed that Ryder needed glasses and might have other potential eye issues. Understanding the importance of a child’s first eye exam is crucial for their overall well-being.

We knew Ryder was having some issues in the past for ‘seeing colors’, and he went to see an ophthalmologist. At that time they said his symptoms may be a precursor to having migraines. Suggesting to keep an eye on it this symptom. When I took Ryder to his eye exam, it was not due to the color issue. It was more related to his bad handwriting, his watching his iPad, computer, TV, and reading at a very close distance. When I finally saw the signs, I asked him about it and he first told me he could read just fine. Two weeks later, when I asked again, he told me things were in fact blurry and I was shocked at how short of a distance he could read.

During the eye exam, he started talking about his past ‘seeing color’ issues again… but in reality, he had still been seeing the colors the entire time, just not saying anything about it. I suspect he stopped talking about the colors bothering him because he either got used to it, or he was afraid that no one would be able to do anything about it. The new eye doctor suggested we keep an eye on it, but during his tests, everything was okay… sort of.

It turns out Ryder barely passed the color blindness test. He struggled with being able to see certain letters/numbers in the test. Of which, it wasn’t made clear, but the doctor said he wasn’t too concerned at this point, it may just be a developmental thing and he needs more time to grow into his eyes. His retina and nerves were good looking and no issues, so hopefully he grows out of this issue.

Ryder does in fact need glasses. He has a low prescription, but he also has an astigmatism in one eye that was causing a lot of confusion. While he can’t see things close up, he also struggled with things far away in one eye. They had to take an average measurement for his prescription. So things far away are clearer in one eye than the other and vice versa for objects close up.

This could definitely explain the bad handwriting and possible focus issues in school and around the house. This particular prescription is only to be worn during “reading and times of focus” according to his eye doctor. They are not to be worn for play or anything outside of doing reading or screen time activities.

I was shocked… and even more shocked at how much the frames and lenses were going to cost. See, I wear glasses and have a thin prescription as well, which caused my prices to increase for lenses, and limited on the types of frames I can wear. But for Ryder’s script, it was much higher than I expected. Luckily, we did have eye insurance, but definitely shop around if you do not have eye insurance. You do NOT have to buy the frames and lenses from the eye doctor’s office. Check out some online shops such as Zenni for serious discounts. Even Walmart, Costco, and places like that sell lenses and frames.

Remember, it’s a prescription, and as such, you can get a copy of it and take it to any place you’d like to have it filled! In my case, Ryder fell in love with some he saw at the office and that was that. Ha!

When to Schedule the First Eye Exam

Experts recommend scheduling a child’s first comprehensive eye exam around the age of 6 months. This initial evaluation is essential to detect any early signs of vision problems or eye conditions that could impact your child’s development. Regular eye check-ups can help monitor any changes in vision and ensure prompt intervention if needed.

Preparing for the Eye Exam

Preparing your child for their first eye exam can help ease any anxiety or fear they may have. Here are some tips to make the experience positive:

  • Talk About It: Explain to your child what to expect during the eye exam in a friendly and reassuring manner.
  • Make It Fun: Encourage your child to see the eye exam as an exciting adventure. Bring along their favorite toy or book to keep them engaged.
  • Stay Calm: Your own demeanor can influence your child’s feelings about the exam. Stay calm and confident to help them feel at ease.

Photo by Pixabay

My Experience with Ryder’s First Eye Exam

Taking Ryder for his first eye exam was both nerve-wracking and enlightening. As a single parent, the responsibility felt heavier, but I knew it was crucial for his well-being.

Emotional Impact on Single Parents

Discovering that Ryder needed glasses during his eye exam brought a mix of emotions. I felt relieved that we caught it early but also a bit anxious about his future eye health. Being a single parent intensified these feelings, making me question if I missed any signs even earlier. It was a reminder of the importance of regular check-ups, especially for children. Remember, your co-parent may not be as involved or invested in your child’s well-being as much as you are. So let them know your concerns ahead of time, and try and gauge from those conversations. For me, there is hardly a response given in the safety and well-being of Ryder outside of an argument or attitude. Know your co-parent and go from there.

Photo by Brett Sayles

Choosing the Right Eyewear for Kids

As a single parent, ensuring your child has the right eyewear can be both functional and stylish. When selecting eyewear for kids, consider their comfort, style preferences, and the durability of the frames. Opt for lightweight materials to avoid discomfort and make sure the frames fit well to prevent slipping.

Finding eyewear that matches your child’s personality can make wearing glasses more appealing. Let them choose from a variety of colors and shapes that they feel confident in. Additionally, look for frames that are sturdy and can withstand the activities of an active child.

Scheduling Follow-Up Appointments

After the initial eye exam, it’s crucial for single parents to stay on top of follow-up appointments to monitor their child’s eye health. Regular check-ups are essential to track any changes in vision and ensure the effectiveness of the prescribed eyewear.

To effectively manage follow-up appointments, create a schedule that aligns with your daily routine. Set reminders on your phone or calendar to avoid missing appointments. Communicate with your child’s eye care provider to address any concerns and make necessary adjustments to their eyewear.

Remember, proactive eye care can significantly impact your child’s overall well-being and academic performance. Stay organized and prioritize their eye health for a brighter future.


Prioritizing your child’s eye health through regular exams is essential. Starting with the first eye exam at 6 months, you set the foundation for their visual well-being. Remember, early detection of eye issues can lead to more effective treatments and better outcomes later in life.

Ensure your child receives annual eye exams, especially before starting school and during crucial development stages. As a single parent, it’s crucial to stay proactive about your child’s eye care. By making their vision health a priority, you are setting them up for success and ensuring they have the best possible start in life. Your child’s eyes are precious; give them the gift of clear vision and a bright future.

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