Choosing Glasses for Kids: 7 Things to Keep in Mind
When you’re choosing a pair of kid’s eyeglasses, there’s a lot more to think about than when deciding on a pair of your own. In order to make sure you choose the right ones and that your child will actually wear them, here are seven things to consider.
1. Lens Thickness
There are a few things to think about concerning lens thickness. Both the lens prescription and the material of the lens will determine how thick they will be. After the eye exam, your child’s eye doctor will have a clearer idea of the lenses your child will need. Ask about what style frames will work best.
Usually, strong prescriptions will result in thick lenses. The eye doctor may recommend sticking with frames that are small in order to keep the lenses as thin as possible. Large lenses in high prescriptions can sometimes be blurry around the edges, which can affect peripheral vision. This is why it’s better to keep the frames on the small side.
2. Lens Material
Children’s lenses take much more of a beating than adult lenses because children are so much more active. Your kid will wear her glasses when she’s running, jumping, participating in gym class, or riding her scooter. It’s much more likely that kid’s lenses will get scratched or damaged which is why it’s important to have the right lens material.
Children’s lenses are commonly made of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate lenses are more impact resistant and lighter than other plastic lenses. It also offers protection again UV rays and has a scratch resistant coating.
Another material that could be used is Trivex. Trivex is very similar to polycarbonate in that it’s thin, impact-resistant, and lightweight. Trivex is made in a similar way to how regular plastic lenses are made and offers clearer vision than polycarbonate.
3. Style of the Frame
It’s not always easy for children to begin wearing glasses because they often worry that they’re going to be made fun of by their classmates. Allow your child to help choose frames that he likes or at the very least avoid frames that he thinks aren’t cool.
While adults can understand that it doesn’t really matter what his classmates think, being accepted by their peers is important to school-aged children. The ultimate goal is to get glasses that your child will actually wear. Allowing him some input into what they look like makes this much more likely. Keep in mind that different face shapes work best with different kind of frames.
4. Frame Material
Because kids are so hard on their glasses, frame material is important. Frames come in plastic or metal styles and are designed to look like small versions of adult frames. Kids will often be drawn to the same style of frames that they see their parents wearing.
While plastic frames used to be preferred because they were more durable than metal, there have been a lot of advancements in the design of metal frames. They’re now just as tough as plastic. Frame material should be your child’s preference because, again, at the end of the day you just want your kid to like her glasses enough to wear them.
5. Proper Fit
The first thing to consider when it comes to fit is the bridge. This can be tough because young kids are still growing and may not have developed a bridge that can hold up a pair of glasses. For this reason, plastic frames are usually made with small bridges and metal ones come with adjustable pads. If the bridge doesn’t fit right, it won’t hold the glasses up properly and they’ll keep sliding down. When this happens, your kid either won’t be looking out of the lenses properly or will get annoyed and take them off.
Another thing to consider is the fit of the temples. Younger children might require glasses that have wrap around temples to hold them in place. Another option is to get a strap that goes around the back of the head.
For older kids who don’t need a strap or a wraparound design, it’s still important to check temple fit to make sure the frames are the right size. The temples should not extend too far over your child’s ear. She should be able to sit back and lie down without the temples hitting any surfaces or shifting the frames.
6. Sports Glasses
Even though polycarbonate lenses are impact resistance and kids’ frames are relatively durable, for children heavily involved in sports, it’s still a good idea to invest in a pair of sports glasses.
Sports glasses are also made with polycarbonate lenses but offer a lot more protection than any plastic or metal frame can. The wrap around and protect the eyes from any objects flying at the face, like baseballs or teammate’s elbows. You shouldn’t need a separate eye exam; the same prescription can be used to get sports glasses that was used for your kid’s regular pair.
7. Spare Glasses
It’s also a good idea to have a back-up pair of glasses for your child, just in case. Kids are hard on their glasses and also more likely to lose them and it’s always best to be prepared.
One way to get a back-up pair without spending too much money is to get new lenses in old frames. This way, you use frames that you already know your kid will wear and update them with the current prescription.
The Most Important Things
If you follow these suggestions, you’ll have a good shot at achieving the two most important things: that you choose the right pair of glasses and that your child will actually wear. It’s likely you will have different opinions – you as the parent are likely to be more worried about price and durability whereas you child will mostly be concerned with how they look.
If you work to find a balance and take all of these things into consideration, you’ll be able to find a pair of glasses that will make both you and your kid happy.