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How Do I Begin Patching?

10 Tips for Successful Eye Patching

#1 Understand the medical terms: Many eye disorders are difficult to pronounce and understand.  Do your homework so you fully understand and then ask the right questions.

#2 Choose the right doctor: Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, or an Optician, each are specialized and have different medical training.  Make sure you have selected the correct doctor for your child’s vision care that both you can your child feel comfortable with.

#3 Start eye patching on a weekend: Dedicate a good chunk of time so you can focus solely on supporting your child. Plan fun activities and offer lots of positive reinforcement.

#4 Create a game plan: How will eye patching fit into your child’s daily schedule?  Sitting down with the family and creating a plan and getting everyone on board will help the family realize that eye patching will be a team effort.

#5 Give your child power: If a child is given choices they will feel they are in control of the situation.   Offer them a variety of eye patch options so they can pick out which eye patch they want to wear that day.  Let them help decide on a special reward that they can obtain if they successfully reach a short term patching goal. 

#6 Keep an eye patch record: Keeping an eye patch record on an incentive calendar can be motivating for the eye patching child and is a helpful tracking tool for parents.

#7 United we stand: Educating your child’s teacher, caregiver, relatives and friends about why your child needs to wear the eye patch will help them all understand the importance of supporting the eye patcher.  

#8 Create a routine: Pick a routine that is already established (after brushing teeth or before putting on shoes) and tie it to eye patching.  This will help decrease the power struggles and give the child some independence.  Remember to be consistent with eye patching and it will soon become a routine.

#9 Master the art of distraction: Distracting your child from focusing on their eye patch is what will get them through those first few weeks of adjusting to the eye patch.  Movies, video games, board games, books, dancing, whatever it takes to keep them happy and motivated.

#10 Remain calm, positive and firm: Eye patching is hard, your easy going child may become unhappy and difficult.  They are adjusting to using one eye and that one eye has low vision.  It’s hard, frustrating and uncomfortable.  Parents need to be patient but stick firm with the patching treatment.