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For any parent needing to purchase eyeglasses for their child, the entire process can be confusing. An optical store can have hundreds of different styles of glasses to choose from, making it difficult for both you and your child to find the right frame. Even figuring out your child’s prescription can be difficult as well.
It is important to note that your eye doctor will play an important role in helping you decide what kind of eyeglasses to choose based on your child’s vision and overall eye health. Not all children need to wear their glasses at all hours, so your optometrist will either prescribe full or part-time wear glasses. However, there are still plenty of considerations that need to be made when buying your child their glasses. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying your child’s first pair of specs:
Choose the Right Materials
Typically, children’s eyewear is made out of either metal or plastic. Plastic has been considered the preferred choice for children due to their durability, lighter weight, and cheaper prices. However, manufacturers have managed to make metal frames for less money while also making them just as light and durable as plastic frames.
Do keep in mind whether or not your child has any allergies to certain metals or other materials used in frame making. Also, while you are the parent and are making the purchase, it’s important that you allow your child’s preferences and comfort level to help the decision. After all, the goal is for them to wear their glasses, so they need to like them.
Not only are the frame materials important, but so are the materials needed to make the lenses. Your child’s prescription will be the primary determining factor when it comes to materials needed. There are some lenses that are durable with many protections, but they can sometimes be too heavy. Be sure to ask your eye doctor whether they have any lens material that is equally as light and protected.
Take Style into Consideration
Whether we like to admit it or not, other children can sometimes be mean and cruel to their classmates. There is a likelihood that your child may face some ridicule, whether good willed or not, whenever they come back to class in glasses. You should want to limit these interactions as much as possible.
Allow your child to help you find a frame that they like. You should land on a pair that your child feels comfortable in, finds attractive, and a pair that would not be considered “uncool” by their peers. The point is to have them want to wear them, so if they were to be bullied while wearing them, this would turn them away from wanting to put them on.
Find Glasses that Properly and Comfortably Fit
One of the many struggles when choosing the right glasses for your child is picking a pair that properly fits them, and they find comfortable. A child’s face is not done growing yet, and this is especially true about their noses. Since the nose hasn’t fully developed, they won’t have a bridge that can prevent their glasses from sliding down their face. Most metal glasses have nose pads that fit everyone’s noses, but plastic frames do not. Many manufacturers have recognized this issue and have made the bridges of their frames smaller to fit the smaller noses of a child.
There are many other parts of the frames that need to be evaluated by your child’s eye doctor to ensure that their frames fit properly. The temples and width of the frames will all be decided by your doctor to find a pair that comfortably fit your child.
Consider Sports Specs
Most children are incredibly active. Many of them are constantly playing sports whether during school hours or as extracurricular activities. Due to the material you have invested in their everyday glasses, you may be tempted to let them play sports in them. However, this may not be the best idea.
While the same materials used to make many lenses are used for sports eyewear, the frames of regular glasses are not and often don’t provide the same protection from objects like balls or other children. If your child is involved in sports, a proper set of sports goggles may go a long way when it comes to protecting their eye health.
Buy a Backup Pair
No matter how careful we try to be or what kind of material the glasses are made of, eyewear can break. Children can be especially rough with them. Even if they don’t actively play sports, most children stay active. They could trip and fall and break them. Any number of accidents can happen that can lead to a broken set of glasses. This is why it is important to buy a backup pair for your child.
If they have already owned a pair of glasses, and their prescription hasn’t changed, keep the old glasses around just in case. However, if this is their first pair, a backup pair would save you plenty of time and money.
Get a Warranty
Many optical retailers offer their patients a warranty plan that will replace their eyewear for free or for a minimal fee in case they are damaged. While having a backup pair can be beneficial, you would definitely want to have their regular pair replaced.
Not all warranty plans are the same, however. It is important to consult with your eye care specialist to learn how each warranty covers frames or lenses. Compare lens replacement costs with and without a warranty plan.
Buying eyewear for a small child is no easy task. Children can often be picky and finding a pair of glasses that properly fit your child can be time-consuming. It is important to always go into your eye exam with a plan of how you intend on selecting their pair of glasses. Do not forget to schedule frequent eye exams in order to monitor their vision to keep up with any changes to their prescription. Be sure to visit First Eye Care North Arlington to look over our selection of children’s eyewear.