Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Amblyopia Kids checks out the Amblyopia Patch Kits from the Children's Eye Foundation

Amblyopia Kids checks out the Amblyopia Patch Kits from the Children's Eye Foundation

We at Amblyopia Kids first learned about this kit and jumped at the opportunity to check it out and share the scoop on the "what's new" in the world of Amblyopia. 

amblyopia patch kits The Amblyopia Patch Kit  is designed especially for children who are patching for amblyopia and can be purchased for $15 from the Children's Eye Foundation in both  Boys (Super Patcher) and Girls (Princess Patch) versions.   Physicians can also order Amblyopia Kit flyers by the notepad (100 ct) for free through the CEF. 

This kit is an excellent introduction or starter kit for those who are 'new' to patching or want to try out a sampling of adhesive patches to see what works best for their child. 

Ready.. Set..  Patch!

Proud  Recipient of the Princess Patch Kit
Belle was very excited to receive the giant envelope in the mail and knew it was just for her.  We had already finished our daily patching hours but she was very quick to open it up and check it all out. 

What's Inside:
  • a tips and tricks guide
  • A patching is fun sticker
  • Patching Calendar with reward stickers
  • coloring pages 
  • 30 eye patches (10 of three different patch types). *ours actually had 35
View what is included in each kit: 

Contents of the Amblyopia Patch Kit
Since we received it at the end of July she decided to set up her calendar for the month of August and has happily filled in the stickers for each day she got in her hours.  The Princess Patch kit came with a full page sheet of "Patching Princess" stickers with crowns on them. The calendar and the crown stickers all got the seal of approval from my daughter, who is a bit on the OCD side and also very diva.   She will enjoy completing the calendar this month and if we want to we can always print out calendar blanks to use once this one is full. Once the stickers run out you can simply 'x' off the days or use any other stickers.  Speaking of stickers.. the kit also came with a larger  "Patching is Fun" pink teddy bear sticker.... reminiscent of something you might receive after a trip to the dentist or blood lab. My discerning 7 year old took one look at it and rolled her eyes and made a comment along the lines of "you've got to be kidding me - how humiliating".   Ok, so that sticker wasn't a hit with her but perhaps for a younger child  and one who is new to patching they would likely enjoy it.  Belle has been around the block with patching and it is no longer "Fun" or novel in any way to her.

Princess Patch Coloring pages
All of the materials (Calendar, Patching Tips & Tricks guide, and Coloring sheets) come printed on nice heavy duty card stock and the graphics are very cute.  The girls kit features "Princess patch" theme and the boys a "Super Patcher" super hero theme.   All of these materials are also available in a FREE and printable format on the Children's Eye Foundation website.   Belle really liked the coloring sheets and colored Princess Patch to look like a 'mini-me' of herself, even giving the princess a light pink streak in her hair.  Go Girl power!

As listed on the Children's Eye Foundation information page about the kits -- 
Although these are included in the Patching Kit, you can also print them from your desktop printer:  Bonus!   
Super Patcher Kit
Patching Princess Kit

The Patches in the Amblyopia Kit
Patches - Front side

Patches - underneath side
The Amblyopia Patch kit includes an assortment of 3 different brands of patches - a total of 30 patches in total.   Our kit, actually had 35 in total but I am not sure if that was a fluke or not.  All of the patches are ADHESIVE and can be worn with or without eyeglasses.

The kit includes the following brands of patches

Ortopad Regular vs Junior
Our kit also included some Ortopad junior patches - a quantity of 5 in assorted 'girls' patterns. This is a smaller size patch that would be appropriate for patching a baby or very young toddler.  Or, you could use them to patch a doll or bear.  It is often fun for a child to have a 'buddy' patch along with them and a strategy that we have used frequently in our household.

Belle has tried all 3 of these brands of patches before and you can find thorough reviews of these brands and more here at the Amblyopia Kids website. 

I've put together a (hopefully) easy to read chart that details the key differences between them and put up some pictures of the front and backs of the patches. 

Comparison of the patches in the Amblyopia Patch Kit

Brand Cost Material Adhesive Look  Availability Review Link
Ortopad as low as .24/patch made of a mono-stretch, non-woven material that allows the skin to breathe latex-free and hypoallergenic available in white, beige, and assorted boys and girls patterns available online or thru some pharmacies Ortopad & Ortopad Elite girls patches
Krafty Eye Patches as low as .32/patch non toxic ink, monostretch breathable fabric and a great black out layer that is so thin it never touches or bugs the eye lashes. latex-free and hypoallergenic with time released 'sensitive' adhesive available in primary and bright colors as well as 'fun kits' to decorate available online only Fun Eye Patch Kits for Kids
Nexcare Opticlude as low as .10/patch  breathable, made by 3M hypoallergenic beige only available at most drug stores on shelves and online CVS vs Nexcare 

Patching with Nexcare

 Belle's Amblyopia Patch Kit Experience with photos:

Nexcare Patch
The Nexcare patches is the most inexpensive option as well as most 'utilitarian'. It is most like a band-aid - not surprisingly as it is made by 3M.  No color options are available - only beige, so it can be quite discreet or your child could decorate it with stickers or markers should they want to.  It is thin and very sticky.  My daughter doesn't care so much for the Nexcare patches as the adhesive is a little harsh on her very fair and tender skin.   The advantage to this patch is definitely the low cost and the fact that it is readily available to purchase at local drugstores right on the shelves. Be sure to check the size when buying - the "jr" size is very small and was what we used when my daughter was just 3.  Pictured here she is wearing the 'regular' size Nexcare patch.

Ortopad Elite Patch
The Ortopad patch is probably the most commonly used patch out there and comes in either white or beige or a plethora of patterns  with boys, girls or 'fun packs' available.  One thing that is nice is that the 'elite' Ortopad patches have little slits in them by the nose portion of the patch - it helps the patch sit comfortably on the face and under glasses as well.  The adhesive on the Ortopad patches holds well and is relatively gentle.  My daughter likes some of the patterns that they sell but doesn't like that you can't pick and choose what patterns when you order the full box. We always end up with a handful that she absolutely refuses to wear and run out of the designs she likes first.  We have also purchased an entire box of the patches (white) and passed them out to friends for them to decorate for her.

Krafty Eye Patches
 Krafty Eye Patches sell fun patch kits in bright colors. We have used these for a while and been very happy with them.  One standout feature of the Krafty patches is the fact that it has a blackout layer over the portion that goes right in front of the eye.  My daughter once told me that she could see right thru one of her other patches (I am not sure if it was Ortopad or Nexcare and she never would admit to it after that - sneaky). The blackout layer ensures no peeking.   She also likes the bright colors these come in like pink, purple, red etc and likes to decorate them.  I like that everything is non-toxic and safe. We have never had a rash or reaction, nor has her eyelashes or brows gotten pulled from these.

Note:  I do know that a common complaint on the Amblyopia Kids facebook page is that the Krafty Patches don't always stick well on some children.  We have not had that problem but always patch on clean and dry skin. I know that in the summer when my daughter is sweaty that this is a downfall to most adhesive patches - they can slide or cause irritation.  Many swear by using a little milk of magnesia under the patch or wetting the patch before removing it to minimize irritation.  For more advice on this very sticky situation check out The Sticky Patch - Help! Article 

Overall Thoughts
The Amblyopia Patch kit gets a thumbs up from Amblyopia Kids.  This is a good value and a great place to start if you are new to patching, or want to try out some different adhesive patches to see which adhesive patch works best for your child.  

Thank you the Children's Eye Foundation for letting us check out this cool patching kit and for putting it together.  You have taken something very overwhelming to parents and made it simple. Kudos to you!    We at Amblyopia Kids sure do appreciate all that you do for children's vision.

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