Now that school is back in session, you might want to get your kids’ eyes checked (remember: most provinces cover annual eye exams for children under 18) to see if they need eye glasses. If they do, here are some tips on shopping for glasses once they get their prescription:
Help your youngster understand why they need to get eyeglasses. Explain that they will be able to see words and pictures in books and on screens more clearly. If your child is involved in sports, specs will help improve their overall performance.
Choosing between plastic or metal frames will depend on your child’s shape of face and characteristics. Pick a pair that fits well, does not slip out of position, or leave red marks on the nose or ears. “The architecture of a pediatric frame is different,” says Beverly Suliteanu. “Childrens’ frames are designed to fit children. They are not adult frames made smaller. There is also a difference in durability and construction. For example, chosen glasses that include spring hinges to give frames added flexibility in order to withstand a child’s activity level.”
Allow your child freedom when selecting their specs. Have the eye care professional pre-select several frames based on your child’s prescription needs. Then give your child input in choosing their frame, encouraging them to want to wear their glasses, and to take care of them. “Children’s glasses have come a long way in terms of colour choices and design,” says Suliteanu. “The goal is to complement durability and fit with distinct styling that is current and on trend.”
How well your child accepts wearing glasses has much to do with you. Reassure them that their specs serve a purpose and are a fashion statement. To wear them with pride, they need to be kept clean and safe. And when not in use, remind your child to store them safely in the case.
Children can be tough on their eyewear so a back-up pair is always recommended. If your child wears glasses full time, prescription sunglasses should be considered to increase visual comfort and provide protection from the sun’s UV rays.
Note: Choose frames that will fit for the next six to 12 months rather than frames that are a size bigger. Glasses that are too big will slip down the nose and change their visual acuity. Always consult with a licensed optician to ensure that glasses are the right fit and shape for your child and be sure to adjust and inspect the frame professionally every three months.
As Vice President of Product Development for WestGroupe, Beverly oversees the company’s innovative, premium eyewear division.