By: Dr. Michelle Trinh Ly and Dr. Jason Woo
Yearly comprehensive eye exams by an optometrist are important to ensure that your child’s vision is up to par. If it is determined that your child will need glasses in order for his/her eyes to continue to develop and see properly, your next task will be to choose the most suitable pair of glasses according to your child’s needs. Choosing glasses for your child can be a challenging experience, especially if this is your child’s first pair.
That’s why we’ve prepared these tips for you that will help simplify the process and help you choose a great pair of glasses!
An important factor to consider when choosing glasses for your child is choosing a frame style and colour that they will like. One of the biggest challenges we face when a child is prescribed glasses for the first time is actually getting them to wear it. A child is more likely to wear their glasses if they like how it makes them look! Always choose the frame with your child, not for them.
Choose a frame that is comfortable. A properly fitted frame will ensure that the glasses feel comfortable while staying firmly on your child’s face. Keep in mind that although frames can be adjusted, not every frame may be suitable for your child. An experienced frame fitter can assist you in making sure the frame can be properly adjusted to your child’s face.
Look for frames with spring hinges. These special hinges allow the temples to flex slightly outward from the frame without causing any damage. This is ideal for children because they are not always careful with their glasses. The temple hinge is the only moving part in a pair of glasses, and therefore the likeliest place to break during rough play. Selecting the right hinges can help prevent the need for frequent repairs or replacements.
Protect your child’s eyes with a lens material that is resistant to shattering. Polycarbonate and trivex are excellent options for children as they can absorb large impacts without breaking. Depending on your child’s prescription, additional features such as aspheric surfacing or high index materials may be required to keep the lenses thin and light.
Add a high quality scratch-resistant and anti-reflection coating. This will help to prolong the life of your child’s lenses and help to reduce glare from electronic devices such as computers and tablets. Additionally, it will help make the lenses more resistant to smudging so your child can actually see through them!
When the glasses are ready to be picked up, it is important that your child is present to allow for the frame to be adjusted properly to your child’s face. The frame needs to be properly positioned and sit level on your child’s face. The frame should not move around or slip down the nose. There should not be noticeable red marks on the bridge of the nose or behind the ears after a few hours of wear. If this is the case, you should bring the glasses back to where you purchased them to have them re-adjusted.
For any new pair of glasses, there can be an adaption period. The best way to overcome this is to encourage your child to wear the glasses as much as possible without repeatedly taking them off as this will slow down the adaptation process. Remember to inform all teachers about the glasses to ensure that your child will wear them in school and continue to learn effectively along with the rest of the class.
And lastly, make it a fun experience! Choosing your child’s first pair of glasses is something that only happens once, and making it a positive experience will set the stage for the next time you have to pick out new glasses.