Tips for choosing the right spectacle for your child – How to make it trendy but purposeful
If your child has been advised spectacles by your eye doctor, are you confused with the wide choice of eyeglasses available in the market? Do you often end up buying whatever spectacles your child chooses and then regret having done that? So how do you choose the right type of spectacles for your child?
Unlike adults, children may require a frequent change in spectacles due to several factors such as change in spectacle power with the growth of the eye, change in spectacle fit due to changing facial features, etc.
Points to consider when choosing a spectacle for your child:
A good knowledge of the basic parts of a spectacle frame can help you better understand the following pointers when you shop for your child’s spectacle.
Parts of a spectacle frame
Type of frame: Rectangular or oval frames are preferable, depending on the shape of the child’s face. The frame should be well centred, such that the centre of child’s eyes should coincide with the centre of the frame.
Material of frame: Lightweight materials such as fibre or titanium are preferred over regular metallic frames, which are fragile and may corrode over time.
Not recommended for very young children
Lightweight, fibre frames are preferable
Height and width of frame: The dimensions of the frame should ensure that the eye is completely enclosed by the frame. When the child looks in different directions, it should be through the spectacle lens and not through the lens edge (this may induce unnecessary edge effects, especially with high power glasses) or outside it (which does not serve the purpose of the spectacles). Spectacles should extend vertically from the eyebrow to the bony rim where the cheek begins, and horizontally from the nasal bridge to the lateral orbital rim. Flexible tier or elastic band: May help in keeping the spectacles from falling off, especially in toddlers
Stem of the frame: should not press on the temple region (sides of the head) and should fit snugly behind the ear. The stem, which is usually flexible, can be adjusted by the optician to fit well on your child’s face. Flexible hinges: are preferable in toddlers and special children who may not be careful while taking off and putting on their spectacles. The flexible hinges have a spring like action and hence do not snap off while manoeuvring.
Keep it light: Choosing a frame that is light in weight may make the spectacle frame more comfortable for your child and also prevent formation of marks on the skin. Keep it cool: Your child will eventually have to feel comfortable wearing the spectacle among his/ her peers, so it is important to choose a spectacle that is trendy, to avoid your child being teased by other children. So give your child the freedom to choose the colour or type of frame, with your guidance, of course.
Keep it strong: Spectacles for children usually have basic lens materials. Since children require frequent spectacle changes over the course of their growth, expensive lens materials are not cost effective. However, if your child is active in sports or is using only one eye predominantly, tough materials such as polycarbonate/Trivex are recommended. If the child has ocular albinism or is too sensitive to sunlight, photo chromatic/tinted glasses may be helpful.
It is important for both parents and children to have a positive outlook about spectacles. Over time, the spectacle becomes a part of your child’s daily activity, and it helps if the child does not see it as a burden. In short, there is no perfect spectacle. The most optimum spectacle would have the right balance between the aforementioned points and the child’s requirements in terms of vision and the latest trends in terms of fashion.