Buying your child’s first pair of glasses can be a very exciting time, but it can also become a confusing and very overwhelming endeavor if you’re not certain what to look for. After all, there are so many choices available out there when it comes to eyewear that it’s nearly impossible to choose the perfect frame! What’s a parent to do?
Sometimes, your optometrist might make a specific recommendation about which frames would work best for your child, but usually that choice is yours alone to make. To make the decision easier on you, check out our 7 most essential tips for purchasing eyeglasses for your child!
Through Thick and Thin
Your child’s prescription is always the most important choice when it comes to selecting glasses, and you should consult with your optician about the lenses before you choose the frames. As a rule of thumb, if your child’s lenses are thick, try to find the lightest frame for them so the glasses won’t be so heavy. Keep in mind also that smaller lenses usually have fewer higher-order aberrations near the end of the lenses than larger lenses do so blurred or distorted peripheral vision shouldn’t be a big problem for your child.
Lens Material Matters
In addition to the thinness and thickness of your child’s lenses, you must also be sure that the lens material will not only help your child to see but will also protect his or her eyesight. Lenses should be made of polycarbonate or a material called Trivex. These materials are lightweight and can take much more tough love than other lens materials. They also usually include protection against potentially harmful ultraviolet rays and are coated with scratch resistant materials. Ask your optician’s opinion on the matter if you’re in doubt.
Metal or Plastic
Frames are made of two types of material – metal (that is, wire) or plastic. In the past, plastic was a popular choice because it was seen as more durable and lighter in weight and in price, but anymore, manufacturers are making metal frames that have the same advantages as plastic frames. When in doubt, be sure to ask your optician which material is the better choice for your child.
Take It to the Bridge
Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of the entire decision is the bridge fit of the frames. After all, children’s noses aren’t yet fully developed, so glasses can have a tendency to slide down a child’s face, especially when they’re playing. Many frames, especially metal ones, tend to be made with adjustable nose pads to help fit the glasses to everyone’s bridge, so keep a look out for frames with nose pads!
Choose Your Earpiece Style
Essentially, there are two types of earpiece styles: cable temples, which feature a more curved earpiece that reaches around the ear, and standard temples, which are a straight edge. Cable temples tend to be very advantageous for very young children or for times when children are playing since they tend to not slide off the child’s face. Standard temples are great for those who wear glasses only some of the time since they are easier to take on and off.
Find the Cool Frames
Wearing glasses usually subjects the child to a good amount of teasing, especially when they’re wearing them for the first time. Try to avoid frames that aren’t pricey, inappropriate for their age, or make them look “uncool.” Remember, the real goal is to get your child to keep wearing his or her glasses, so make sure that they like the glasses that you choose!
Children can be pretty tough on eyewear, so it might be a good idea to have an extra pair of glasses just in case the pair that you plan on having them wear is lost or broken. An extra pair is particularly advantageous for children who have strong prescriptions and can’t function without the use of their glasses.
If you’re ready to pick out your child’s eyeglasses, don’t wander around in the dark! Stop by to see us at Performance Eyecare for all of your eyecare needs.