5 Must-read Tips For Choosing Glasses For Your Child

If your child needs to wear glasses, here’s how to make choosing the perfect pair for your little cherub as painless as possible.

1. Make it child-guided

The child should be heavily involved in the decision-making, says Melbourne optometrist Tim Fricke*: “Because they may struggle against wearing glasses anyway – if they hate them, or they’re not comfortable, getting them to wear glasses will be even more difficult. If they are in on the choice, this will go a long way towards getting them to actually wear the glasses.” However, kids may also need a guiding hand from mum and dad – while having bright pink, funny shaped glasses at the age of three may be fun for them, they may hate pink and refuse to wear them a few months later.

2. Have a shortlist

Encourage your child to pick out several frames they like, and then get the optometrist to determine which ones provide the best fit. If they pinch around the nose or the lenses fog up because the frames rest on the cheek, the child will hate wearing them – however, only an optometrist may pick up these wearing issues at the time.

3. Have the bridge fit checked

A difficulty in selecting frames for young children is that their noses are not fully developed and they don’t have a bridge to prevent plastic frames from sliding down.

This can be where metal frames can be better as they are often made with adjustable nose pads, so they fit everyone’s bridge. However, manufacturers of plastic frames have recognised this difficulty with plastic frames and now are making more bridges to fit small noses.

The US eyecare website All About Vision says that each frame must be evaluated individually to make sure it fits the bridge. “If any gaps exist between the bridge of the frame and the bridge of the nose, the weight of the lenses will cause the glasses to slide, no matter how well the frame seems to fit before the lenses are made.

“It is important that the glasses stay in place, because kids tend to look right over the tops of the lenses instead of pushing slipping glasses back up where they belong. Your optometrist usually is the best judge of whether a frame fits properly.”

4. Lens matters

There are a couple of issues around the glasses lenses. For example, the thickness of the lens can dictate which frames can be used. The optometrist can provide a good idea of how thick the lenses will be and recommend suitable frames that will make thick lenses appear thinner.

There are also decisions to be made around lens material. Many optometrists will recommend polycarbonate, because it is the most impact-resistant and safest lens material around, is lighter in weight than regular plastic lenses, has built-in UV protection and the lenses are scratch-resistant coated by the manufacturer or fabrication lab.

The least desirable material for children’s lenses, says All About Vision, is glass. “Although it must be treated for safety, glass still shatters when it breaks, and broken glass – even safety glass – is a hazard to the eye. Glass lenses are also a little heavier, which makes them less comfortable to wear.”

5. Ask about the warranty

Remember, we’re talking kids here. The chances are the glasses will be sat on, dropped on to the asphalt or have an arm ripped off ‘accidentally’. Ensure the glasses are backed by a good and solid warranty.

This article was originally written by Fiona Baker as part of the ‘Healthy for life’ campaign sponsored by Optometry Australia.

Do you find it difficult choosing glasses for either yourself or your child?

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  1. Alezandra 07/03/2020 at 11:50 pm

    I wear specs and so far my son doesn’t need any. I realised that there’s still a 50/50 chance that he’ll get my eyesight. Luckily my husband’s eyes are 20/20. So hopefully we wouldn’t need these tips and the warranty would probably a very good tip coz like it says…kids might break it.

  2. Micht 07/03/2020 at 6:44 am

    We almost had to get glasses for my daughter cos she has been watching tv using one eye and straining to watch with it and absent mindedly…thankfully after a check the optometrist decided to leave her for now as her eyes adjust over time at this age.. if we ever have to get them i will use these tips for sure…

  3. Mands1980 02/03/2020 at 7:37 pm

    We go to Anstice and associates in Christchurch and they are really good at choosing a few different types that suit your face. Then by trying them on I let the kids decide what they like best and feel comfortable wearing. I have never actually asked about a warranty but have sent a couple of glasses back to be repaired and they have not charged so it must be under warranty.

  4. Bevik1971 28/02/2020 at 10:02 am

    I would definitely let my daughter choose a few pairs, then make sure they are comfortable and fit well before making the final decision. The warranty is definitely important when kids are involved haha. Glasses can be a lot cheaper than they used to be thankfully

  5. Shorrty4life1 26/02/2020 at 4:13 pm

    I honestly have not had to choose glasses for myself or my children. My son had eye surgery at 2years old but never had glasses. But if I were to choose glasses for myself or my children I’d definitely be asking about warranty. Because its not easy to just keep replacing all the time especially if the child is young and doesn’t take much care and is rough like boys can be I know my boy is very rough with things.

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