Buying eyewear for children is a lot different from buying glasses for yourself, besides the obvious fact that they are smaller. Unlike adult glasses that aim to be fashionable, kids glasses need to be durable, they need to fit perfectly, and they need that “cool” factor. Many kids will also have a hard time adjusting to wearing glasses, depending on their age.
With school back in session, it’s essential that your child is properly fitted with eyeglasses that they will wear consistently. Read one of our previous blogs to learn the importance of a back to school eye exam and if your child does need glasses, get in touch with Dr. Sina J. Sabet and his team. We’ll make sure that your child has a pair of glasses they’ll look forward to wearing.
Selecting Glasses For Children
Not too long ago, a majority of children’s glasses were made out of plastic. Plastic is durable, lightweight, and tends to be less expensive. However, recently manufacturers have started designing metal frames with the same characteristics as plastic. Let your child try on several types, have them open up and close the arms of the glasses to make sure they feel comfortable to use, and give your child the chance to wear a pair of glasses for a bit to make sure they feel comfortable on their nose and ears. Listen closely to what your child likes and dislikes so that they leave with a pair they truly like.
The bridge is an essential part in ensuring that the glasses are properly fitted and won’t slide off. A challenge of fitting children’s glasses is that their nose bridge may not have fully developed yet, so a pair of glasses with nose pads might be a better option. The nose pads are also adjustable and so they can be fitted to anyone’s face. However, children generally prefer glasses without the protruding nose pads. Again, let them try on several pairs and leave them on for a while so they can get an idea of how they will feel when wearing them for a full day.
There are several lens materials to choose from, including plastic, polycarbonate, and Trivex. Plastic is generally the most cost-efficient and the lenses can be coated with an anti-scratch layer and can also protect against UV rays. Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses are slightly more expensive, but offer several benefits. Lenses made with polycarbonate can be thinner, have a wider availability of different styles, and are generally less expensive. Trivex lenses are lighter and can provide better central and peripheral vision, but they may cost more. Both polycarbonate and Trivex lenses are well rated for impact resistance, scratch resistance, and can block 100% of UV rays.
The part of the glasses that rests on your child’s ear is known as the temple, and the temple tip can come in several styles to ensure a perfect fit. Cable temples are designed to wrap slightly around the ear to help keep them in place. This style is especially helpful for active children and there is a worry of the glasses falling off when they are running or playing. However, they can be difficult to take on and off, so if your child only needs glasses part of the time, consider trying a pair with spring hinges to provide more flexibility.
For children, having to wear glasses isn’t always “cool.” To help your child feel comfortable in the glasses, let them pick a frame style and color that suits their personality and sense of fashion. If they will be happy wearing bright pink frames with yellow polka dots, then they can own that look! Just be sure that they understand that they will have that style for a while. A challenge in fitting children with glasses is overcoming the idea that glasses aren’t cool, so consider finding a pair that matches the look of a popular celebrity at the time.
Talk to Your Ophthalmologist
Your doctor will have plenty of experience fitting kids with glasses and may have some insight into which styles are popular, which materials feel the best, and which lenses are best for kids’ active lifestyles.
Talk to Their Teacher
Getting glasses for the first time is a big change and can impact their performance at school. Make sure your child’s teacher knows they are getting new glasses. Their teacher can make sure that they are being worn all of the time and they can keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
Dr. Sina J. Sabet is an experienced ophthalmologist in the Alexandria area and has years of experience working with everyone of all ages. Having an eye exam completed can be an intimidating process for a young child, but our team will ensure that they are comfortable throughout the process. And we’ll make sure they leave our office feeling excited to wear their new glasses! Schedule an appointment for your child with an ophthalmologist today!