Eye Patching – Just For Kids!
Hi Kids! It’s time to talk about eye patching, something the doctors and your medical team might call “Occlusion therapy”.
This helps you exercise your eye, which can help improve your vision, or what your eye can see and how it sees!
There are many different reasons why your doctor and your parents want you to do patching each day. The most important task for you is to figure out what patch you like to use, and how to have fun while you do this important and useful activity!
What Kind Of Patches Are There?
There are a lot of different patches for kids to use when doing their eye patching. Finding what works best for you is important, so take some time to explore the different options with your family. Check out this list:
- Adhesive eye patches that are soft and sticky – these patches gently stick to your face around your eye. You can buy these at the chemist/drugstore/hospital or even online.
- Make your own patch all by yourself with Micropore tape.
- Cloth patch that goes on your glasses – homemade or available at chemist/drugstore or online, depending on where you live.
- Make your own superhero mask out of paper or fabric and cover one of the eyes with paper.
- Personalize any patch you choose by using your favourite stickers to decorate the front of the patch.
Here is a cool article and video to share with your parents about a COOL Dad who created special patches for his daughter.
From left: Fay with a soft patch on her glasses, Kamau medical play puppet with a soft wraparound pirate patch, and little Freya medical play puppet with a superhero mask patch.
Patching Time Activities
When it is time to patch your eye, you can help pick a fun activity to do while the patch is on. You may choose a super special activity, maybe one of your favourites. Or you might just feel like relaxing with the patch on while you do a regular everyday activity. It’s good to discuss this with your parents and medical team, to decide what will work best for you to be and feel successful during your patching time.
Some activities kids enjoy doing while patching include:
- Play time – when you are playing with toys, rolling out and creating with playdough, enjoying a game with friends, or even dressing up in costumes.
- Art – when drawing, painting, gluing or colouring
- Screen time – playing/watching your tablet, watching a movie or TV show.
- Mealtimes – any meal will do, but dinner is the most fun when everyone is together!
- Snack time – especially small fun snacks like berries, grapes, vegetables and dip, and maybe even SWEETS! Sprinkles can be fun to eat with your fingers off a plate!
- Driving somewhere – if you do a daily drive to school, sports or another activity, try patching for the drive.
- During your night time or bedtime routine – when you are having a bath, reading a story and having snuggles before bed.
- Have a patching party – patch the eyes of all your stuffed animals, action figures and dolls.
What If I Find Patching Difficult?
If you find it difficult to do your patching every day, try challenging yourself by:
- Setting a timer.
- Keeping track of your patching success on a special rewards chart.
- Start with 5 minutes on the first day, then add a minute each day until you reach your goal patching time.