Searching for the right pair of eyeglasses for your child can be confusing. You can find plenty of kid’s frames, but how do you figure out which ones are the ones your child will be willing to wear and which ones will last?

Most children who need glasses are either nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism or even some combination. Eye doctors often make recommendations about suitable eyeglass frames, but ultimately that decision is left up to you, your child and the optician.

8 Considerations When Buying Children’s Eyewear

Here are 9 items to ponder to make the time in the optical an easier experience.

1. Lens Thickness
It is important to keep the frames as small as possible to reduce the final lens thickness. 

2. Fashion
The real object is to get your child to wear the glasses. It is important to avoid frames that will make them look “uncool.”

3. Plastic or Metal
Children’s frames are made of either plastic or metal or a combination of the two. Some manufacturers copy the adult styles for their children frame lines. It’s not uncommon for children to ask for similar glasses to their parents. Plastic frames are typically a better choice for children because they are slightly more durable and lighter weight.

4. Proper Bridge Fit
Children noses are not fully developed, and manufacturers of plastic frames engineer bridges to fit these small noses. Metal frames usually have adjustable nose pads to ensure fitting everyone’s bridge. If the glasses do not stay in place, kids will tend to look right over the tops of the lenses. Our experienced opticians/technicians can determine whether a frame fits properly.

5. Spring Hinges
These special hinges allow the temples to flex outward, away from the frames, without causing any damage. Kids are not always careful when they take on and off their glasses, so the spring hinges help prevent the need for frequent adjustments and repairs.

6. Lens Material
Children’s lenses should be made a material called Trivex or polycarbonate, because these materials are significantly more impact-resistant than the older materials. They offer a degree of safety and are often thinner and lighter. They also have built in ultraviolet protection and usually have a basic scratch guard coating.

7. Warranties
Most optometrists offer a warranty plan that will replace eyewear in case of damage to the frames or lenses.

8. Backup Pair
It is always a good idea to have a second,backup pair of eyeglasses. Most offices offer discounts on second pairs. If the child’s prescription has not changed significantly, keep their previous eyeglasses in a safe place for use as a spare.

Your Broken Arrow Optometrist
Dr. Matthew Ozment