According to statistics, approximately one in five children need spectacles. At first glance, colour and "coolness" are the most important factors in the choice of spectacles for children. After all, your child should have a positive feeling about spectacles. Nevertheless, as a parent you should also pay attention to a few other details when choosing spectacle frames for your child. Here are our tips on choosing the best spectacles for your child:
You should first show your child which spectacle frames are right for him or her. If the colour is right, then your child will be motivated and proud to wear the spectacles. The look of the spectacle frames should fit to your child in order to feel good wearing them and not feel like the spectacles are strange. Basically, children have the same expectations as adults towards their spectacle frames. More crucial however, is the fit. Spectacles for children should be comfortable and sit consistently well, without slipping. This is a particularly important criterion for babies or toddlers.
The spectacle frames should not be too big or too small, nor should your child's freedom of movement be restricted by them. The size of the spectacles depends on the size of the eye socket and the distance between the child's eyes. It is also important that the spectacles do not sit on the child's cheeks and cause pressure marks and discomfort. In addition, they should not be higher than the eyebrows or wider than the face. In general, the smaller the frames, the less likely they are to bother your child. At the same time the spectacles should be large enough so that your child can see comfortably in all directions; and the middle of the spectacles must be adjusted to the middle of the pupils. Buying spectacles which are too large so that your child can grow into them is definitely not recommendable.
Basically, spectacles for children have to be centred as precisely as spectacles for adults. Even small fitting errors weaken the performance of spectacle lenses significantly. Conventional spectacle fitting methods routinely cause at least 40% loss of the lenses optical effectiveness.
The material used for the spectacle frames should be suitable for children's natural urge for movement, which means they should be robust, break-proof and light.
Some children suffer from allergies, particularly to nickel. For that reason, spectacle frames made of pure titanium are a good choice children. The light material of these frames is extremely robust and all skin types tolerate titanium very well. An additional anti-allergic coating minimises the risk of an allergic reaction. When purchasing, make sure to look out for the label "made of pure titanium!"
A part of the spectacle frames you should pay particular attention to is the temples, and not only if you have very active children or toddlers. The temples should not cause uncomfortable pressure while the spectacles should stay in the right position. Spring hinges are very robust and ensure the frames will have a long lifetime. Bending the spectacles apart cannot even harm these children's spectacles.
Sport temples may also be an option. These temples are flexible and fit perfectly to children's ears. They should reach to the ear lobe and be coated with soft plastic.
The nose bridge for children's spectacles should have a contact surface as large as possible. The younger the child, the more important this is, since young children do not have a well-defined nasal bridge on which spectacles can sit. When the contact surface is large, the weight of the spectacles is also distributed better. A new feature, gel-pads can also provide an alternative solution as they sit especially softly on children's nose.
Ball sports or Judo are particularly challenging for children wearing spectacles. Fast movements cause normal spectacle frames to slip and cause discomfort. Many good spectacles for children are suitable for sports. There are also special sports spectacles for children that, depending on the model, are made completely out of plastic, with temples that do not have hinges. An elastic strap on the temples that is worn around the back of the head can also ensure that the spectacles sit securely.
If your child is a keen swimmer it may be worth purchasing swim goggles with prescription lenses.
Patience will be needed when buying the spectacles and afterwards. Toddlers and babies in particular will need time before they keep the spectacles on their noses. You've succeeded when your child gladly wears the spectacles, understands why and is proud of the new accessory. Also, make sure to use the services that your eye care professional can provide. Professional cleaning of spectacles in an ultrasonic bath or readjusting the spectacles keeps them in good condition and ensures your child can always see properly. As a rule, there is no cost for such services.