Monday, July 4, 2011

Tips For Choosing Kids Glasses


Do your kids need help picking out a new pair of glasses?
Do you need help in helping them?
You're in luck. This crash course in kids' eyewear is just for you.

Shape of Eyeglass Frame
As you probably already know, even kids like to look their best. Shapes that create a "balanced" oval face can help them do just that. You'll want to avoid frames that mimic the shape of your child's face--so, no square frames for square faces, round frames for round faces, etc.

What if you're not sure of the shape?
Ask!!--we're pros at this sort of thing.  But if you want to figure it out on your own, try to picture a dot on either side of your child's brow, cheek, and jaw.  Then, visually connect the dots.  For a really sure fire method, physically draw the same dots on a photograph.  Or, have your child stand in front of the bathroom mirror as you trace his or her outline in soap (this way is the most fun!).

As a general rule of thumb, kids age 2-5 look best in round and oval frames.

Looking to downplay:

Close-set eyes?
Choose frames with a simple bridge color and dramatic temple (side-arm) color.

A long nose?
Select a low-set bridge.

A short nose?
Select a high-set bridge. The top of the frame should follow the brow, without blocking facial expressions.

The frame's width should always match the width of your child's head.

Too many colors to choose from? Use this as a guide:

Here's some eyewear extras that take frames from good to great:

Strap Bridges
If your little one has high cheekbones and a wider, flatter nose, a strap bridge will reduce pressure on the sinus, septum, and developing bones by distributing the frame's weight evenly over a wide area.

Cable Temples
Cable temples are perfect for smaller or younger children (particularly up to 3 years old) because they are soft on the ears and hard to pull off.
Cable temples are also great for active older children who need to keep their glasses from sliding off during sports or play, or for kids who spend alot of time working on the computer.

Spring Hinges
Spring hinges let frames expand as kids grow-getting rid of unwanted pressure that can cause headaches. They resist bending when glasses are taken off with only one hand (something even grown-ups do), so they're more durable too. The payoff? Fewer visits for adjustments.

Gooseneck Nose-Pad Arms
Gooseneck nose-pad arms are easier to adjust than regular nose-pad arms, making it easier to fit the frame to the nose without chafing. They're particularly important for setting the position of bifocal lenses and for fitting very young kids.

PVC Nose Pads
Unlike silicone used on adult frames, PVC nose pads are hypoallergenic and won't cause irritation.

Sun Clip-Ons
Children's eyes need extra protection from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Clips do the job for less than a separate pair of prescription sunglasses.

Storage Cases
Good children's eyewear always comes with a storage case. "If it's not on your face, it's in the case." Remember this rhyme and frames will stay like new.

In the end, it's all about what your child likes. Kids get the final say.

Thanks to for help with this.
James B. Mayer, O.D., F.C.O.V.D.
Agape Learning & Optometry Center

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