According to statistics, approximately one in five children need glasses. At first glance, color and "coolness" are the most important factors in the choice of glasses for children. After all, your child should have a positive feeling about glasses. Nevertheless, as a parent you should also pay attention to a few other details when choosing the frames for your child’s glasses. Here are our tips on choosing the best glasses for your child:
You should first let your child choose his or her favorite frames. If the color is right, then your child will be motivated and proud to wear the glasses. The look of the frames should suit your child so that wearing them feels good and not at all strange. Children have the same basic expectations as adults with regard to their frames. More crucial, however, is the fit. Glasses for children should be comfortable and sit well at all times, without slipping. This is a particularly important criterion for babies or toddlers.
The eyeglass frames should not be too big or too small, nor should they restrict your child's freedom to move. The size of the glasses depends on the size of the eye socket and the distance between the child's eyes. It is also important that the glasses do not sit on the child's cheeks and cause pressure marks or discomfort. In addition, they should not be higher than the eyebrows or wider than the face. In general, the smaller the frames, the less likely they are to bother your child. At the same time, the glasses should be large enough so that your child can see comfortably in all directions, and the middle of the glasses must be adjusted to meet the middle of the pupils. Buying glasses which are too large so that your child can grow into them is definitely not recommended.
Glasses for children have to be centered as precisely as glasses for adults. Even small fitting errors weaken the performance of lenses significantly. Conventional eyeglass fitting methods (using a Sharpie) routinely cause at least 40% loss of the lenses’ optical effectiveness.
The material used for the eyeglass frames should be suitable for children's natural urge to move, which means they should be robust, shatter-resistant and light.
Some children suffer from allergies, particularly to nickel. For that reason, eyeglass frames made of pure titanium are a good choice for children. The light material of these frames is extremely robust and all skin types tolerate titanium very well. An additional anti-allergic coating minimizes the risk of an allergic reaction. When purchasing, make sure to look for the "made of pure titanium!"
A part of the frames which merits particular attention is the temples, and not only if you have very active children or toddlers. The glasses should sit in the correct position and the temples should not exert any pressure. Spring hinges are very robust and ensure the frames will have a long lifetime. Even bending these glasses apart cannot harm them.
Sport temples may also be an option. These temples are flexible and fit perfectly to children's ears. They should reach the ear lobe and be coated with soft plastic.
The nose bridge for children's glasses should have a contact surface that is as large as possible. The younger the child, the more important this is, since young children do not have a well-defined nasal bridge on which glasses can sit. When the contact surface is large, the weight of the glasses is also distributed better. Gel pads are a new feature that can also provide an alternative solution as they sit especially gently on children's noses.
Ball sports or judo are particularly challenging for children wearing glasses. Fast movements cause normal frames to slip, resulting in discomfort. There are many good types of children’s glasses that are suitable for sports, including special children’s sports glasses that, depending on the model, are made completely of plastic, with temples that do not have hinges. An elastic strap on the temples that is worn around the back of the head can also ensure that the glasses sit securely.
If your child is a keen swimmer, it may be worth purchasing swim goggles with prescription lenses.
Patience will be needed when buying the glasses and afterwards. Toddlers and babies in particular need time before they get used to the feeling of the glasses on their noses. You've succeeded once your child is happy to wear the glasses, understands why and is proud of the new accessory. Also, make sure to use the services that your eye care professional can provide. Professional cleaning in an ultrasonic bath and readjustment keeps them in good condition and ensures that your child can always see properly. As a rule, such services are free of charge.