Top tips for buying glasses for children
Your optometrist has prescribed glasses for your child. You walk into the optician’s and see hundreds of pairs. How do you choose?
The eye doctor may have provided some recommendations but most likely, the decision is left up to you.
Seek out a reputable optician and use these guidelines to help you pick out glasses your child will love, fit properly and last longer than the first week!
Choose your Lens
Choose your lens first. Your optician should be able to make the best recommendation given your child’s prescription. They should also be able to tell you if you will have any frame choice restrictions based on the prescription.
Robert Vezina, registered optician and owner of Vezina Opticians suggests lenses made of polycarbonate or Trivex, because these materials are significantly more impact-resistant.
They’re also more lightweight, scratch resistant and have built-in protection against ultraviolet rays.
The “Cool” Factor
Your child will likely complain less if they get to choose their own glasses. You’ll also want to minimize teasing, especially the first time they wear them. Avoid frames that make them look “uncool.” Give your child the most choosing power possible within guidelines such as price and material.
Vezina has been helping people choose glasses for more than 37 years. He says kids are really looking for more colourful, playful and “geek chic” styles. They want the cool styles of adult frames. Branded and licensed eyewear is also in right now.
Bench Kids is popular among label-savvy tweens and teens who want grown-up, adult-style frames. Other top sellers include Kensie, TMX and Kool Kids.
Both metal and plastic frames can be durable, lightweight and value-priced. Your optician should be able to show you examples of more durable frames at various price points.
Ask about more flexible materials for durability and make sure to request hypoallergenic materials, especially if your child has shown sensitivity before.
Thinner, lighter and stronger materials, such as stainless steel and titanium, are becoming very popular in children’s eyewear. These durable materials are great choices for kids who are more active and are potentially harder on their glasses.
Make sure that your child tries several pairs of glasses on. They have to be comfortable. If there is a gap between the bridge of the frame and the bridge of the nose, the glasses will slide down.
Metal frames usually have adjustable nose pads, so they may be a better choice if you are having difficulty finding a pair that doesn’t slide down your child’s nose.
You can also get a properly fitted plastic frame. A good optician will assess each frame and take measurements and order a different pair if required.
Temples (or arms) that wrap all the way around the back of the ear help keep glasses where they’re supposed to be. Part-time wearers may want temples
that make taking glasses on and off a little easier.
Glasses with hinges might at first glance appear to be more expensive, but may significantly increase the
longevity of a child’s pair of glasses. The spring hinges allow the arms to flex outward without causing damage, reducing the need for frequent adjustments and repairs.
Not all warranty plans are created equal. Many opticians offer a warranty plan that will replace eyewear at no charge or for a small fee in case of damage to the frames or lenses. Be sure to ask.
Children can be tough on their glasses. Vezina strongly suggests a backup pair. This is even more important if your child has a strong prescription and can’t function without his or her glasses.
After important considerations such as safety, fit, durability and price, you want to make sure you walk out of the store with a pair of glasses that reflect your child’s personality and individuality.
Above all else, you want them to walk out of the store with a pair of glasses they absolutely love.
Photos: Alpha Viana Inc.