Small Eyes, Big Smiles

Buying glasses for the first time with your child can be stressful. Your child will be worried about how the glasses make him or her look, how they feel, and what their friends will think.

You worry about making it easier for them to see, how glasses will impact their self-esteem, protecting their eyes, and of course the considerable expense that glasses can represent.

The best, and worst, part of the whole experience, will be the wide array of glasses to choose from. It’s now possible to get just about any feature you can imagine in a pair of children’s glasses, which in itself can be overwhelming. Here are some things to consider:

It’s About the Fit
First and foremost, glasses need to hold the lenses appropriately, and fit your child properly. The most stylish glasses in the world won’t do any good at all if they’re uncomfortable, because they won’t be worn. Ask your optometrist for recommendations about the types of frames and lens sizes that are most appropriate for your child.

Consider Their Use
Does your child need to wear these glasses all the time, or just when performing certain tasks. If the glasses are supposed to be removed when doing close-up work, make sure that it’s easy to remove them. If they need to be on at all times, or the child is very young or exceptionally active, consider a strap to hold them in place or earpieces that wrap around the ear.

Consider the Type of Lenses
Polycarbonate lenses are most appropriate for children, because they’re light and impact resistant. If your child spends a lot of time outdoors, a photochromic coating (which darkens the tint of the glasses when exposed to sunlight) might be a good idea. If your child plays sports, they might need a separate pair of “sports goggles” designed to protect against impact, and stay on during high impact activity.

Allow for the “Cool Factor”
That first pair of glasses can be a big source of social anxiety. If possible, allowing the child to pick features that they consider “cool”, like a special colour, a recognized brand name, or a comic book or superhero character can ease the stress.