How to Find the Best Glasses for Kids
Shopping for kid’s glasses presents some unique challenges. If this is your son or daughter’s first experience with eyewear, they may be extremely picky about frame appearance and comfort. You’re going to have to balance their unique sense of style with pragmatic concerns like durability and price.
Here are seven important things to consider when shopping for kid’s glasses:
1. Lenses: Vision correction is the whole point of getting glasses, so pay careful attention to the prescription lenses you purchase. Powerful prescriptions may require thick lenses, and that can influence the types of frames that are comfortable for children to wear. Your eye doctor will write a prescription after the exam and can offer tips on which frames work best with the lenses. Don’t worry—many kids end up with a wide variety of eyewear choices.
2. Comfort and Fit: It’s important to choose frames that are comfortable. Kids may be reluctant to wear their glasses, and a poor fit provides a great excuse to take them off once they’re out of your sight. Small glasses can pinch their temples or nose, while large frames may slide down their face. You can learn more about eyeglasses measurements here, but this will also be a standard part of their eye exam. Don’t start looking at frames until you have these numbers in hand.
3. Fashion and Style: Many kids start developing their own sense of style around the time they begin to need eyeglasses. They’re probably not going to be satisfied with just any old frames. However, this can create an opportunity to get children excited about glasses. Allow your son or daughter to take an active role in picking out their new glasses. It can make all the difference when it’s time to wear cool new frames in front of their friends.
4. Durability of Frames and Lenses: Let’s be honest—kids are going to get their glasses dirty, drop their frames on the playground, and smear slime on their new lenses (you laugh now…). This is why overall durability is one of the most important considerations when shopping for kid’s glasses.When it comes to kid’s eyewear, it’s usually best to look at frame materials that are very forgiving, like plastic or flexible memory metals. We strongly suggest protecting your investment by choosing resilient polycarbonate lenses with high-impact and scratch-resistant coatings. Finally, spring hinges allow the temples to flex outward, reducing the chance that these arms will snap off if overextended.
5. UV Protection: Kids spend a lot of time outdoors, so consider UV-blocking lenses or photochromic lenses that darken in sunlight to protect their eyes from solar rays. SunSync lenses adapt to natural light, so kids don’t have to keep track of both eyeglasses and sunglasses during the day.
6. Price and Vision Benefits: Everyone’s looking for a good deal on kid’s glasses, and nearly every website and retailer claims to have the best prices. However, some are less than upfront about the final cost of kid’s glasses. Always make sure you understand if the list price includes prescription lenses. If you have vision insurance, you’ll usually save the most by going with an in-network website or eye doctor. You can always submit a reimbursement form to your insurance for an out-of-network purchase but will probably end up paying more. Use your VSP, Cigna, or MetLife vision insurance to save up to $220 on glasses for kids.
7. Return Policy: Free returns are a great selling point when it comes to kid’s glasses. Your child may change his mind about the style or complain that they don’t fit right. Swapping frames without a hassle will save you both a heap of frustration.
Help! My Kid Doesn’t Want to Wear GlassesIt’s not uncommon for children to resist wearing glasses, especially if it’s their first pair of frames. Lucky for you, that means other people have dealt with the same struggle before. If your son or daughter is less than thrilled with the prospect of wearing glasses, head over to our previous blog entry, “7 Tips to Get Kids Excited About Wearing Glasses.”
The Importance of an Annual Vision Exam for KidsA kid’s eyewear prescription can change from year to year, so it’s important to schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam to make sure their glasses are still providing the necessary vision correction. Keep an eye out for early warning signs that a prescription has changed, like struggling in school or an aversion to reading. In many cases these kid’s vision concerns can be solved with a new prescription. Teens may be interested in trying contact lenses, and your eye doctor can help with that transition. Visit our Find a Doctor page to locate a VSP eye doctor near you.
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