Pediatric Ocularist Appointments at Carolina Eye Prosthetics

Your child and the care they need in a pediatric ocularist appointment from our team mean so much to the entire staff at Carolina Eye Prosthetics. You and your infant, toddler, or child are our priority, and we hope you will feel that from the first phone call or pediatric appointment in our Burlington, NC office. 

Will this hurt my child or cause them more pain?

That is the most important question for most of the parents we talk to who are exploring ocularist care options and artificial eyes, corneal scleral shells, or custom conformers. The short answer is a relief and very good news: by the time the patient is ready for visits to the ocularist, most of the physically painful trauma is over.

Anna is one of our board-certified ocularists who cares for most of our pediatric patients. There are three more things she would like to share with you now about the pain and trauma you and your child have been through.

Keep reading to learn about some simple ways to make your child’s pediatric appointment with us as easy, positive, and affirming as possible. We would like the chance to demonstrate that we truly care about you and your child. 

A brief conversation makes it so much easier to hear your questions and concerns well. So, you will also find information about our team. We hope we can speak with you soon.

How to Help Your Child Have the Best Pediatric Ocularist Visit Possible

Children need different things at different ages. During a consultation call or visit, we can speak to those unique needs for very young children (newborns to 3-year-olds) and older children (4-year-olds +). But now, let’s cover a few basics that are helpful for most children.

  • Do what you can to make sure your child has plenty of rest, playtime, exercise, and meals/snacks before their appointment.
  • Be a good listener! If your child expresses feelings or ideas about their eye or their appearance, be gentle, positive, and affirming with them.
  • Tell them that they are going to see some artists who will help them get a new, special eye that will help them look and feel great. It’s true! We hand-paint every custom prosthetic eye we make for patients, and even though we are seasoned, attentive healthcare providers, we’re not doctors. 
  • Beyond that, it’s usually best not to tell your child too much about the process or their upcoming visit with us. Too much information can be overwhelming, scary, or confusing, especially for children between the ages of 4 and 6. 
  • The process for fitting and making a prosthetic will involve a few hours in our office and some generous breaks for you and your child. We encourage families to do fun things on those breaks (there are several great options close by we’d like to share with you). If you are going to share more with your child about this appointment, think about focusing on those little adventures between sessions with us.

The Ideal Role for Parents at a Child’s Pediatric Ocularist Appointment

This is a stressful, emotionally difficult time for you and your family. With decades of experience, we find that many parents are …

 … struggling to compartmentalize their own anxiety  

… overwhelmed with the perfectly normal trauma responses they should be experiencing right now

… trying too hard, with the best intentions, to control or manage either their child’s feelings and experience — or how our team navigates this procedure.  

We want to empower you to know exactly how you can best help your child. In some cases, that doesn’t look like what a parent might initially expect. 

You might have some strong feelings or gut-level rejection of this idea, but sometimes, the best thing a parent can do is let a grandparent or another trusted family member bring their child for this visit! There is absolutely no shame in this approach. 

These are helpful guidelines for whoever comes to the appointment with your child:

  • Take some comfort in the fact that if your child has already had their eye removed, the sensitive part has also been removed from their eye socket. If they need a fitting over a microphthalmic eye, it will also be much, much less sensitive than a normal eye. Your child will be nervous or might even feel scared — but they will not be in pain.
  • Spend some time practicing self-care and let anyone close by you be extra caring for you right now!
  • Be prepared to lean on our staff during this session. Follow our lead. You have never been through this experience before, but we have walked through it with hundreds of parents. We know all the best tactics for putting children at ease, and making the scary parts as easy, quick, and forgettable as possible! Things like small rewards given by the ocularist can be especially helpful in getting children through these appointments with positive feelings of empowerment. 
  • Before and after their appointment, if you need to process the difficult feelings and any worries you have, do that with trusted adults, not your child. We can listen, and we can also help make recommendations about where to get strong, dependable community support or professional counseling from people who understand what you are going through.
  • Let’s schedule a brief, no-cost appointment without your child present. We can use that just to hear how you are doing, respond to your needs in all of this, and clarify the best preparations for you and your child before their appointment.

Schedule an Appointment With Us Today

We can’t wait to meet you and your child. Pediatric appointments are both some of the most challenging and rewarding work we do at Carolina Eye Prosthetics. If you have a question or you’re ready to schedule a visit for your child, click the Contact Us button below. Brittney will reach out with a quick phone call to find the best time for you to have a 20-30 minute no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our team. 

We can also meet in person, and would love to welcome you to our office. You also have the option to schedule a video appointment online right now! We are excited to hear what’s on your mind, answer your questions, and give you all the information you need, so let us know how we can help.