If you need to buy eyeglass frames for your child, the task can seem daunting. While there are a lot of frame choices to choose from, you need to be able to purchase the ones that your child will be willing to wear and will be strong enough to endure the rigors of childhood.
Sometimes the doctor will make specific recommendations about frames, but more often than not, that decision is left up to you, your child and the optical dispenser fitting the glasses.
Here are a few things to consider to ensure your child gets eyeglasses that will last.
If the prescription calls for strong lenses that are likely to be thick, it’s important to keep the frames as small as possible to reduce the final lens thickness. Smaller lenses tend to have fewer aberrations near the edge of the lens than large lenses of the same material and prescription, meaning there is less risk of blurred or distorted peripheral vision.
The real object is to get your child to wear the glasses, so you don’t want him to look “uncool.” Enticement may be found in ultra-cool features like photochromic lenses that darken in the sunlight.
Many manufacturers copy adult styles for children’s frames and kids may be attracted to these styles because they look grown-up.
Plastic or Metal
All eyeglass frames, including children’s, are made of either plastic or metal, also called wire. In the past, plastic frames were considered more durable for children, as they were less likely to be bent or broken, weighed less and were less expensive.
These days, manufacturers are making metal frames that incorporate the same features. Metal composition varies, so ask the optician which one is best, based on their experience with different alloys. If your child has shown sensitivity to certain substances, be sure to ask for hypoallergenic materials. For instance, some people are allergic to metals that contain nickel.
Proper Bridge Fit
One of the hardest things about choosing suitable frames for young children is that their noses are not fully developed. That means they don’t have a bridge to prevent plastic frames from sliding down.
An optician will ensure that frames fit properly. They must be evaluated individually to make sure that no gaps exist between the bridge of the frame and the bridge of the nose. Otherwise, no matter how well the frames seem to fit before the lenses are inserted, the weight of the lenses will cause the glasses to slide. It’s important that the glasses stay in place because kids tend to look over the top of glasses, rather than pushing them back up where they belong.
Polycarbonate or Trivex lenses are significantly more impact-resistant than other lens materials. They are also lighter than regular plastic lenses, are scratch-resistant and have built-in protection against ultraviolet rays.