Tips and Tricks for Kids' Amblyopia Patching
Tips and Tricks for Patching
The classic patch is an adhesive "Band-Aid" type which is applied directly to the skin around the eye. These are available in smaller sizes for younger children. Cloth patches are appropriate for children who wear glasses, but attention is needed to ensure a child does not look around the cloth patch.
What should my child do while patching?
Activities such as reading, coloring, computer games or watching a favorite TV program while patching sometimes encourages compliance, but have not been proven to improve patching outcomes. Patching at school in older children may be challenging because it may cause problems at school such as difficulty learning, teasing by other children and reduced overall compliance.
What if a child refuses to wear the patch?
Many children initially resist wearing a patch. Successful patching requires persistence and much encouragement from family members, neighbors, teachers, etc. A young child may throw a tantrum, but even this child can eventually learn not to remove the patch. Rewarding a child for successful patching can sometimes help increase cooperation. Usually, cooperation improves as child’s the vision improves. The patching calendar on the next page may help to track patching.
The use of arm guards (“no-no’s”), which are gentle restraints, may help during the difficult phases of patching therapy. When worn, these restraints prevent most children from removing the patch. Eventually most children learn that the arm guards can stay off if the patch stays on.