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Eyeglasses for children have come a long way in the last few decades with a variety of choices in colors, styles, and materials. With so many choices, how is one to choose the best eyeglasses for a child? The most important factors are selecting glasses that your child will be willing to wear and that are durable.

IT’S (NEARLY) ALL ABOUT PROPER FIT

One of the most difficult aspects of selecting glasses for children is finding the proper fit. Children are still growing and the bridge of their noses is not as fully developed as in adults. Finding glasses with arms (called temples) that wrap around the back of the ear help to ensure that glasses stay in place. Additionally, the bridge of the frames should fit snugly against the bridge of the nose. The fit of the bridge is often the most difficult part to get right. While glasses frames come in both plastic and metal, typically metal frames offer more flexibility both across the bridge and around the ears. The frames should fit closely enough to not slip down the nose or off the ears, but not so close that the lenses touch the eyelashes.

SPRING HINGES

These days most, but not all, children’s frames come with spring hinges. Selecting frames with spring hinges will provide greater flexibility, which will allow durability if the glasses get knocked off your child’s face, for example during physical education class or recess, and will allow some room as your child grows. Spring hinges are also better for children who tend to be a bit rough in putting their glasses on and taking them off. Spring hinges will reduce the need for repairs over the lifetime of the glasses.

LENSES

When you begin looking for eyeglasses, talk to the optician about your child’s prescription. If your child needs a particularly strong lens, you should expect the lenses to be thicker. This may require special considerations in selecting frames to reduce the weight of the glasses overall but to also have frames strong enough to support the thickness. Lenses for children in the United States are generally always made of polycarbonate or similarly durable material. These materials are safer and lighter than glass lenses. They also often (but not always) have built in ultraviolet protection and are scratch-resistant. These factors not only protect the eyes but also the glasses. If your child’s lenses don’t include ultraviolet protection or aren’t scratch resistant, ask the option about these options.

BACKUP GLASSES AND SPORTS LENSES

Many families find it helpful to have a second pair of glasses as a backup. You never know when an accident may happen, causing your child’s glasses to break or be lost. In addition to a backup pair of glasses, children who play sports may need a pair of sport-specific glasses or goggles.

MAKE IT A GOOD HABIT

Some children may be resistant to wearing glasses. Help your child to understand that glasses are perfectly normal and necessary. If you wear glasses, make sure that your child sees you wearing them at every opportunity. Point out that your child needs his or her glasses to be successful in school and activities. You may help your child to overcome objections to glasses, by allowing them to choose frames that are fashionable, fun, or fit their personality. If your child is still resistant, discuss the fact that everyone needs help sometimes and that we all have differences. Those differences are nothing to be embarrassed by. Look for examples of other people that your child admires who also wear glasses.

For additional guidance in helping your children with their vision needs, call Silverstein Eye Centers today at 816-358-3600.

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