A child’s vision is constantly developing, so whether they need a slight correction or have special needs, it’s important that you learn how to choose the correct glasses in order to meet your child’s vision needs. My guide on the top eight tips for buying glasses for kids will discuss what features to look for, how to choose the right frames, and what you can do to ensure the glasses you choose for your child are the perfect fit. For some children, learning that they have to wear glasses can be devastating, but the tips I’ve included here will teach you how to purchase a pair of stylish, durable frames that your child will be excited to wear.
So, Your Child Needs Glasses
When a person puts on a pair of glasses, the way they view the world changes entirely. The eyes and brain must work together in order to force the muscles in the eyes to align properly for depth perception and focus. Because of this, you don’t want your child to be looking below or above their lenses.
Your child’s optometrist will be responsible for choosing the right prescription, however, the next step will be entirely up to you, so you’ll need to take your time and choose wisely. Don’t purchase the first pair of frames you find on sale. Finding the right glasses for your child is just as important as choosing a pair for yourself. Since this is such a big deal you need the process to go as smoothly as possible. A parent can make the entire process of shopping for a new pair of glasses for their child a positive experience. The goal here will be to find a pair that your child is excited to wear and a pair that fits well.
In some cases, a child will not want to wear glasses and will be concerned and even distressed by the very thought of wearing glasses, since a pair of glasses can significantly change the wearer’s appearance. Before you shop, talk to your child about the process. Explain why it’s so important for them to wear their glasses consistently, how it can help to improve their vision and can have a positive impact on how they perform at school or even when they’re playing their favorite video game.
Make sure you take your child shopping at a time when they’re more likely to feel relaxed and rested. Don’t shop for the frames after a lengthy eye exam or when they’re tired or hungry. You can also allow them to bring along a favorite toy, which can be helpful.
While the style of the frames will be important to your child, how well the frames fit will be the top priority. A child’s nose isn’t fully developed enough to form a bridge, so glasses that have a wide space between the lenses can cause the glasses to slip down, which will have your child looking over the lenses instead of through them. Obviously, this type of frame won’t do since it defeats the purpose of wearing glasses.
Try to avoid glasses that have the small pads between the lenses, which are referred to as nose pads. Nose pads can easily bend out of alignment, which can cause frustration and general discomfort, while also throwing the glasses off-kilter.
Rubberized, flexible material is the latest trend in kid’s eyewear these days. This type of frame not only offers the best fit, but they’re also incredibly durable. Additionally, rubberized frames are available in a variety of color options, come equipped with nose pads that are designed as part of the frame, and they’re very affordable.
2. Choosing Glasses Based on the Age of Your Child
If you have a rambunctious toddler, then go for cabled temple glasses which consist of side pieces that wrap around the ears. These glasses are perfect for younger children who are often tempted to constantly take their glasses off. Adjustable elastic straps are another option, but they’re not quite as effective. Spring hinges are also considered a more practical option for toddlers and younger children. These springs will allow the temples to flex away from the frame, without causing damage.
3. Pick Durable Lenses
Once you’ve chosen the frame type, talk with your child’s optometrist about lens material options. Trivex or polycarbonate are the most common options available and both are impact-resistant, lightweight, come with a scratch-resistant coating and can filter out UV rays. Durable lenses are essential since your child’s glasses will need to be able to withstand a beating.
4. Only Buy Frames that Are Covered by a Warranty
Because children can be very rough on their glasses, never purchase frames that are not covered by some type of warranty. Make sure the glasses are covered by a one or two year warranty against excessive scratching or breakage.
5. Buy a Backup Pair
Even the most durable pair of glasses can break. It’s always smart to have a spare pair on hand, especially if your child is severely visually impaired and cannot get by without wearing their glasses.
6. Professional Fitting
Before the lenses are installed, make sure your child gets a professional fitting from their optometrist who can ensure that everything will line up. The more appropriate the fit and comfortable the glasses are, the more likely your child will be to wear them. The optometrist can determine whether or not the frames fit your child’s face well. Because of their smaller face sizes, it’s best to go with frames that offer the better fit. While there are adjustments that can be made to most frames, major changes cannot be made to the frames. Additionally, since your child is bound to grow quite a bit in the period of just a year, it’s good to have frames that have a little bit of extra room, which will accommodate any changes to the shape of the face or the bridge of the nose.
7. Buy Sports Frames if Needed
If your child plays sports, then it’s important that you also purchase a pair of glasses that they can wear when they’re practicing or they have a game to play. Wearing their regular glasses during a game can lead to severe damage. Sports frames are designed with increased durability in mind. These recreational frames will also provide improved protection and better peripheral vision. The frames will also come with special cushions inside the glasses and for the bridge of the nose. These glasses often come equipped with straps that wrap around the head instead of arms. Some types of recreational glasses will also come with a skull cap that fits snuggly over the top of the strap and prevents the glasses from getting pulled off if your child wears a helmet.
8. Choose Frames Your Child Actually Likes
As I mentioned earlier, finding a pair of frames that your child likes will be very important. Style may not seem like a big deal to you, but if the frames you choose don’t give your child confidence in their appearance, they will be more likely to take their glasses off when you’re not around. If they do keep their glasses on despite their dislike of the frame, their self-esteem may suffer, especially if the frames themselves are bulky or unappealing. Because of this, it’s important to give your child at least a few options to choose from. Do your homework and learn about the popular types of frames that other children their age are wearing. You can also ask friends, family, or the parents of classmates that also wear glasses. For kids, how their glasses look and how they make your child look will be crucial.
While it can be frustrating, try to be understanding at this time. You can even sit down with your child and look at the different frame styles and designs online, allowing your child to choose a pair that’s more their style. Often, the selection of glasses you’ll find at an optometrist’s office can be very limited. Your child’s eye care specialist may even have a website in mind that they can recommend, that offers a wide selection of frame options that will work for your child based on their age and style needs.
Ongoing Vision Care
A child’s vision is always changing. As the muscles in their eyes continue to strengthen or weaken, they may need to have the lenses in their glasses adjusted. Because of this, it’s important that your child has a yearly eye exam. A child with a special prescription may need to have their prescription updated more than once a year, depending on their doctor’s recommendation and their condition. Speak with your child’s doctor concerning how often your child should have their eyes checked. This will also be a good time to replace frames that have been damaged, lenses that have been scratched and try out new frame designs.
Know When it’s Time to See a Specialist
The glasses your child wears should fit well and should not cause discomfort or irritation. If the glasses look good and fit well, then your child should have no issue wearing them. If you notice that the glasses are constantly sliding off, are crooked, or your child refuses to wear them, then it’s time to take your child to an optician. If the glasses are not straight this will prevent your child from seeing through them. Your child may need to have special frames ordered that are not available at their regular eye care doctor’s office. A good fit is just as important as a good lens adjustment. An optician can recommend different frame designs that may be a better fit for your child’s face shape, which will ensure that your child gets the most out of their glasses.
Shopping for Glasses Online
Don’t shop for your child’s prescription glasses online in the hope of finding cheaper frames. There are some companies that will fill a prescription order with new lenses, but this should only be done at their doctor’s office since the doctor can determine if the lenses need to be adjusted, after they have your child try on their new glasses and they perform a short vision test. When you buy glasses with prescription lenses online, you may be doing your child a disservice since the lenses may not accurately line up. This can lead to vision problems in the future. Buying frames online can be perfectly fine since your child’s doctor can test the alignment after they have sent the frames in to have the lenses installed.
Color Blind Glasses for Kids
If your child’s optometrist has determined that they are color blind, then they may benefit from using the best color blind glasses. But do color blind glasses really work? While these glasses cannot cure color blindness, they can allow your child to differentiate between different colors more easily, although they will not be able to see true colors like a child with normal vision can. However, they will not work to treat all types of color blindness.
Fortunately, there are many pairs available to choose from that are designed specifically for children, so you should have no trouble finding a pair that will fit their head shape and size. If you’re not sure which type of color blindness glasses will work for your child, speak with their eye care specialist for product recommendations.
Choosing new glasses for your child can be stressful for both of you, but it doesn’t have to be. These 8 tips for buying glasses for children will ensure you purchase glasses that will work for your child’s face shape and size, vision needs, and will be a pair that your child loves. For some children, wearing glasses can be a major adjustment, one that’s very stressful. By following the tips that I’ve included here in my guide you’re sure to purchase a pair of glasses that your child will love and wear consistently.