Shopping for Children’s Eyeglasses
Shopping for eyeglasses for your child can be a daunting task. There are so many styles and colors to choose from. How do you know which is right for your child? Whether your child will be a part-time or full-time wearer of eyeglasses, there are several things you should keep in mind.
Plastic or Metal Frame?
Children’s eyeglasses are made of metal or plastic. Plastic used to be the recommended choice because it was more durable and cost less. Now it is not uncommon for manufacturers to make durable, lightweight, and inexpensive metal frames as well. However, the composition of the metal may vary, so check with your optician as to what materials are present in the metal. One thing to be aware of about metal frames, however, is that your child may be allergic or have a sensitivity to the metal components, so if any rashes or irritation occurs with the frames, nickel may be the culprit.
Choosing a Pair
Once you determine the type of frame you’re looking for, the important part starts—choosing the actual frame. When shopping with your child for their eyeglasses, remember:
- Style: Everyone wants to be the cool kid, and that can be hard if you’re wearing goofy-looking glasses that take up most of your face or make you look like a nerd. Almost all kids will get teased by their classmates and friends when they see them with glasses for the first time. Most children will say that style is the most important aspect when deciding on a pair of eyeglasses. So as a parent, you will need to exercise some flexibility.Remember, the goal is to have your child wear the glasses (http://www.allaboutvision.com/buysmart/kidseyewear.htm). If your child ends up being embarrassed and refuses to wear them, you will end up having wasted a huge chunk of money—without even improving your child’s vision.Have your child try on several styles and colors that they like and help them decide on one that will look best with their facial features.
- Proper fit: Although style is very important to most children, they won’t wear even the coolest eyeglasses if they don’t fit. Glasses that keep falling off their nose or that have to be constantly adjusted will quickly frustrate your child. Metal frames tend to fit better because they often have adjustable nose pads. Plastic frames don’t have this feature, so they often are too big for smaller noses. Check out silicone nose pads—they are soft, comfortable and have a non-slip surface. You can always have an optician examine the glasses for proper fit before purchasing and readjust frames after you buy them.
- Warranty: Be realistic. Most kids are active and will eventually break their glasses. Make sure you have some kind of warranty (many glasses come with a free one-year warranty) in case the inevitable does occur. And don’t spend a fortune on one pair of glasses—it is sure to be the first of many. Having to replace a pair of glasses each time can be costly.
Time to Go Shopping!
When the optometrist tells your child they need glasses, hopefully, as a parent, you’ll be armed with the information you need to ensure you choose a pair of comfortable and stylish eyeglasses your child will enjoy wearing.