There are a few possible indicators that your child needs glasses. This could begin with a note from the teacher discussing difficulties in school or you may notice your child squinting or having frequent headaches. However, more likely you will only learn your child needs glasses when you take them to a doctor of optometry for a routine eye exam when there have been no indicators at all.
When choosing their first pair of glasses, start by ensuring that your child likes the style and
colour of the frames that are being selected. A child will be more inclined to wear their
glasses every day when they are happy with their appearance. For a child to keep their new
glasses on, the frames do need to provide a comfortable fit. For this reason the frame sizing
and selection needs careful attention by an experienced fitter. Children often have small, flat
bridges of their nose and since much of the weight of the frame is carried at that point,
certain types of frames, often with adjustable nose pads, will be recommended. Children’s
skin can be sensitive and large areas of frame contact should be avoided particularly if they
have metal sensitivities. Also, your child will need a frame of good quality and one that is
backed by a manufacturer’s warranty because it is inevitable that the frame will become
bent, crooked or break.
The first priority of lens selection is safety. Lens materials such as polycarbonate and Trivex
carry significant impact resistant qualities in addition to providing UV protection. Your child’s
prescription may necessitate lens features such as aspheric surfaces or high index
materials to keep them thin and light. All lenses should be provided with a very good quality
scratch resistant coating and in some cases anti-reflection coatings, although the latter will
require frequent cleaning to ensure the maximum benefit and are more of a necessity as the
child gets older or the prescription increases.
The delivery of the new glasses is an exciting time for your child. Make sure that they are
fitted well. The frame should be level and properly positioned. They should not slip out of
position with head movements and there should not be noticeable red marks on the nose or
behind the ears after a few hours of wear. Your child will be excited to receive them so use
this time to impress upon them the doctor’s wearing instructions. Also, build good care
habits such as showing them how to use both hands to remove them and how to set them
down properly, lens-side up.
Many coatings have specific cleaning instructions or products that you should receive from
the fitter. You may allow your child to personalize their eyeglass case. There is usually an
adaptation period for any new pair of glasses. Initially, your child may resist wearing the
glasses as he or she may feel that their vision is not clear or things look a little funny. With
continued wear of the glasses, as directed by your doctor of optometry, these symptoms
should resolve. However, any problems that persist beyond two weeks should be reported
to your doctor of optometry. To encourage your child to wear his or her glasses, make it a
part of their daily routine. Also, remember to make your child’s teacher aware of the wearing
schedule of the glasses.