My 18 month old needs to wear an eye patch for 30 minutes a day. He’s been doing this since he was a couple of days old, and when he turned 1 he discovered that it was really easy to remove the patch. He also decided that the patches were delicious!
So then followed a series of months where we just couldn’t do the patching. It was a drag because I felt so guilty about it, but the only choice would have been to hold his little screaming body with his arms at his side!
Then I found the next best thing. Pedi-Wraps. They are like velcro sleeves that you wrap around their arms. I admit I still feel guilty — he can’t bend his arms and that makes him mad! But I just keep telling myself that I don’t want to have this conversation with him when he’s 20:
“Mom, why is my eyesight so bad?”
Well, you cried a lot when we put the patch on you, so we just gave up.
“Way to go Mom.”
In the picture [removed] he’s watching Lazytown — doctor-prescribed television! Ok, he didn’t actually tell us to put on Lazytown, but he did say that TV watching was good for him when he had his patch on. It makes his other eye work harder and that’s the point.
For the curious, my youngest son was born with what has finally been diagnosed as a cataract in his right eye. It looks like a white polka dot on top of his pupil. Since it isn’t possible to do a really accurate vision test on a baby (“Is this better…or worse? Better…or worse?”) they have to just go on the assumption that his vision is compromised.
So putting a patch on the ‘good’ eye makes the other eye stronger because it has to work hard. You know, like pushups. Um, or something I might actually do!