What To Keep in Mind When Choosing Glasses for Your Child

With more and more kids wearing glasses for a wide variety of reasons, there are an increasing number of options available. While this is a good thing, it can also make the process of choosing glasses for your child a bit more daunting. The guide provided below explains all that you need to know to make it an enjoyable experience.

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Starting Point

Once you know, through consultation with our opticians, what prescription your child needs and what sort of vision issue the glasses are meant to correct, you can then start to determine what exactly you should buy.

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Things to Consider

  1. Lens and Frame Size: Glasses will not provide the proper assistance if they don’t sit correctly and securely on the wearer’s face. The strength of the prescription should indicate how thick the lenses will need to be. Keep that in mind when selecting frames, as larger frames will require the lenses to be even thicker, which can make the glasses heavier and less comfortable. Additionally, larger lenses have more higher-order aberrations near the edges that can lead to blurred or distorted peripheral vision.
  2. Temple Style: Especially with children, who tend to be very active and less conscious about the safety of their clothing in general, it’s important to select glasses with temples (arms) that will ensure they stay on the head. Some models wrap around the ears, and are primarily used for very young children, and elastic bands can be fitted to other glasses to keep them on.
  3. Spring Hinges: The most likely point of failure on glasses are the hinges, since they are the moving parts. Fortunately, spring hinges which allow the temples to flex outward without damaging the glasses, are available. They are highly recommended, especially for younger children, as they will prevent frequent adjustments or repairs.
  4. Bridge Fit: Because children’s noses aren’t fully developed yet, they don’t have a full bridge to prevent glasses (without adjustable nose pads) from sliding down. Fortunately, most manufacturers of plastic frames, where this is an issue, design their bridges to fit the small noses of children. However, you must be sure to properly evaluate the frame to ensure a proper fit. If there is any gap between the bridge and the nose, the weight of the lenses will cause them to slide down. It is very important that the glasses sit properly, so that the eyes are in the correct position to fully benefit from the corrective lenses. Your optician will be the best judge of whether a frame is a proper fit for your child.
  5. Frame Material: The most common materials for frames are metal and plastic, and these days they are about equal in terms of durability, though not all metal frames are created equal, so consult with your optician if you decide to choose metal. For very young children, flexible frames which are even more durable are options as well. You can also find frames made of hypoallergenic materials if your child has a sensitivity to certain substances.
  6. Lens Material: It’s recommended that children’s lenses be made out of polycarbonate or Trivex, as they are more durable than other lens materials. They’ll be safer, and will last longer this way. Lenses made of these materials also have built-in UV (ultraviolet) protection, and scratch resistance.
  7. Style: Style does matter, especially for kids who might be feeling somewhat apprehensive about wearing glasses for the first time. Getting them a pair in a style they like, and that they’re excited to wear, is the best way to ensure that they do in fact wear the glasses. There is no shortage of style options out there; even the pickiest kid will find one that he or she likes.
Other Things to Take Note of

Other Things to Take Note of

Additional Eyewear

If your child is very active in sports, it might be wise to invest in prescription sports goggles. These are much more stable during intense activity, in addition to being more durable. They must also be properly fitted, so consult your optician before purchasing.

Sunglasses are also highly recommended for children to wear, as they spend more time outdoors than adults, and are more at risk from UV rays. If you expect your child to spend a great deal of time outdoors, and especially if they require a strong prescription, consider purchasing prescription sunglasses.

Contact lenses can be an alternative to glasses for children. They are much less noticeable, and function well both while sitting in class or playing sports. However, they can be difficult for children, especially younger children, to put in, so keep that in mind.

Just in Case

While glasses these days are quite durable, children are very good at finding ways to break things. So it might be a good idea to inquire about warranties for the glasses you purchase for them, and to pick up a backup pair--just in case. Your optician will be able to provide additional details about warranty policies and potential discounts for purchasing additional pairs of glasses.

Other Things to Take Note of

Other Things to Take Note of

Children can be apprehensive about anything new. Making an effort to keep the glasses-purchasing process fun for them will make them more open to the idea, and might even get them excited to start wearing them. Remember, just because this is being done for their health, doesn’t mean it needs to be treated clinically or like something is wrong with them.  And, of course, if your child is in better spirits throughout this process, it’ll be less stressful for you as well!

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Common Questions

Ultimately I would have to say that Trivex is the better material for a handful of reasons. It has a higher abbe value which produces a sharper image so the overall optics of the lens are better than polycarbonate. Aside from that, Trivex is also a little bit lighter than poly. Trivex has a comparable level of impact resistance to poly as well as being 100% UV rated.
It really depends on the abbe value which is the scale that rates how well the light passes through the material. The cleaner it passes through the better the optics of a lens. The higher the abbe value more light will get correctly to its destination on the retina. CR-39 has the highest value, followed by trivex, then hi-index, and then polycarbonate. In that order you will have most to less clear in terms of material.
What To Keep in Mind When Choosing Glasses for Your Child
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Choosing the right glasses is important from a medical perspective, but your child also needs to feel happy with the choice. Our staff has extensive experience helping children find glasses they love; make an appointment today.



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