Once your child or teen has an eye exam and receives a vision prescription, now comes the fun part: They get to pick out their very own eyeglasses.
In addition to helping your child see clearly, the right eyeglasses can boost confidence and protect little eyes. These days, there are so many fun frame designs for kids, and your child is certain to find something that fits his or her unique style. But before your son or daughter starts trying on frames, make sure you know these top things to consider about choosing eyeglasses for kids.
Seek the Help of an Optician
When picking out glasses, you won’t be left to make this important decision on your own. Opticians, including those at our eye care centers, are pros at helping everyone select the perfect pair. They’ll help you narrow down your options according to your child’s prescription, face shape and features, age, and even activity level.
Here’s how a few of those considerations affect your child’s choice of glasses.
How strong is your child’s prescription?
If your child has a strong prescription, he or she may need lenses that are comparatively thick. Certain frames may not accommodate thicker lenses. Talk to your optician to find out what your best options are based on the prescription strength, and ask about different lens materials (such as high-index plastic) that can help decrease the thickness of the lens.
What is your child’s face shape?
Kids, especially teens, may be self-conscious about how they look in glasses. Help them feel confident by selecting the frame shape and width that complements their face shape (such as heart-shaped, square or round) and size.
Different frame shapes suit different features, as well — and not just for looks. Many children have low nose bridges, so eyeglasses manufacturers have designed glasses that won’t slide down on their little faces.
How durable will the glasses be?
Let’s face it: Kids are good at beating up their belongings, and this includes their eyeglasses. While there’s no such thing as completely unbreakable glasses, glasses designed for children often have special features that make them more durable, including spring hinges and heavy duty (but not heavy) metal alloys.
Be sure to look into the durability of lens material, as well. Polycarbonate, polyurethane and Trivex lenses are impact- and scratch-resistant.
Ask for warranty information on both the frames and the lenses, as well.
What’s your child’s activity level?
Does your child spend a lot of time outdoors or playing sports? Are they the type to roughhouse with their siblings? You’ll want to let your optician know which activities your child participates in, so they can recommend the best lens type and frame material. Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses (or composite lenses that combine both materials) are lower weight, can block UVA and UVB rays, and are compatible with protective treatments (such as no-glare, photochromic, and scratch-resistant coatings).
If you have a little athlete, consider prescription sports glasses or goggles. Their construction and polycarbonate lenses means they’ll protect your child’s eyes better against injury than regular glasses.