Fashion and Function: How to encourage your child to love their glasses

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Refractive correction of myopia (nearsightedness),  hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism, problems of eye alignment, accommodative or convergence difficulties or wearing glasses for sun protection are all among the many reasons your child may be wearing spectacles.

Glasses need not be perceived negatively; spectacles can be both fashionable as well as functional.  In fact, many children love the idea of wearing glasses.  Recommendations for harnessing that enthusiasm and helping your child love their spectacles include the following:

Let your child be involved in the selection process. Helping to choose the frame style and colour will go a long way to encouraging the wear of their new spectacles.  If this is their first pair of spectacles, be sensitive to their concerns and answer any questions they may have about when and why they must wear them.

Ask your optometrist or optician for assistance in selecting the right frame for your child. They can help quickly narrow the options to frames most suitable to the size and shape of your child’s face, and ensure that the chosen frames are kid durable.   They will also ensure the correct fit of the spectacles.  Spectacles should not be too tight or pinch at the temples or behind the ears or slip down your child’s nose; they should be comfortable for your child to wear. Because children’s noses and bridges are not fully developed, spectacles with nose pads may provide a better fit for a young child and stay in place better than plastic frames, which may tend to slide down their nose.   Your optometrist will also advise you on the best options for lenses and protective coatings along with the warranty available on children’s spectacles.  

Teach your child respect for their spectacles.  Encourage proper storage of the glasses when not in use, and proper cleaning of the lenses to help prevent scratched lenses interfering with comfortable vision.   If you wear spectacles, modeling the acceptable behaviour is key.

Children play hard and frames can become misaligned; your child will need to have their spectacles adjusted regularly to ensure the frames are sitting comfortably. 

If your child is resisting wearing their spectacles, ask them why.   It may be that the frames are uncomfortable and need adjusting, or they may be unclear as to the need to wear spectacles, or their vision may have changed and they need an eye examination. 

Optometrists recommend that children have their eyes examined by six months of age, and annually thereafter to ensure eye disorders do not go undetected and that their eyes remain healthy. 

Written by Cowichan

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