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August 23, 2010

A Parent’s Guide to Children’s Eyeglasses

Filed under: Parenting Tips — Tags: , , — Erin @ 6:00 am

Guest blog by Jocelyn Gibbons

kids glasses

Does your child need glasses?

Though vision is an important tool for children, it is also the most overlooked health concern. More than 80 percent of a child’s learning relies on vision, from reading a book and seeing the blackboard, to watching a movie in class. While many parents want to believe that their child’s eyesight is perfectly fine, it’s important to consider if your child may need glasses.

Read the Signs of Poor Eyesight

Don’t wait for a teacher’s note to cue you into your child’s poor eyesight. Signs that your child may need glasses include:

  • Squinting
  • Sitting too close to the television
  • Rubbing eyes excessively
  • Trouble focusing or following an object with their eyes
  • Tilting head while looking at objects
  • Losing place often while reading
  • Frequent headaches and/or dizziness
  • Trouble seeing objects far away
  • Sensitivity to light

Ease Children’s Eye Doctor Fears

glasses2If you have noticed one or more of these symptoms, congratulations! You have taken the first step in helping your child. Now comes the hard part—the trip to the eye doctor.

Eye doctor visits may be a bit frightening for a child, especially with the large, weird looking eye exam machines and the doctors poking and prodding eyeballs. Help ease your child’s fears ahead of time. Check online and at your local library for websites and books dedicated to helping children feel comfortable going to the eye doctor.

Nick Jr. even has a site stocked with pro-glasses games, coloring pages, pretend eye charts, stickers, eye exam flash cards, and more. Think of the effect the positive peer pressure can do for your child, from Dora the Explorer loving to wear glasses to the Backyardigans feeling better seeing with their glasses on during their crazy adventures.

Ways to Save Money On Glasses

Before you buy glasses at your doctor’s office, consider this: by simply being prepared and knowing where to look, you can save big—typically up to 80%—off the same pair of glasses.

Be Prepared

It’s not hard to buy glasses outside of your doctor’s office if you have the right information. All you need is your child’s frame size, their prescription (yes, you may have to ask for them to give you this, but they are required by law to do so!), and their pupillary distance (or the distance between the pupils of both their eyes).

For your child’s first pair of glasses, the best way to figure out frame size is by trying on pairs and writing down the sizes that fit well. Simply look inside the temple of the glasses for three measurements—this is the glasses’ lens width, bridge size, and temple length.

Buy Glasses Online
Via: Just Eyewear

Know Where to Look

Once you have the info you need, you are free to shop around. Let’s be realistic: your child’s glasses will probably be broken at some point (hopefully not too soon!). So you might as well save money investing in a pair that do the job for half the price. In fact, with your savings, you could buy two pair—just in case the inevitable happens to pair number one.

Discount Stores —Discount and warehouse stores often have glasses for sale for much cheaper than what you can buy at your local doctor’s office.

Pros: Savings; convenience of being able to buy glasses as you shop for other items.
Cons: Sometimes quality is lacking; frames may take a while to be ready for pickup.

Warehouse Clubs —A step further than discount stores are warehouse clubs, where your membership entitles you to even greater savings on usually better-quality glasses.

Pros: Savings even greater than discount stores; convenience again of buying glasses during a normal warehouse run; quality comparable to the frames at your doctor’s office.
Cons: Frames may take a while; requires another step in an already grueling process.

Online Retailers Buy glasses online and save up to 80% over buying at the doctor’s office—for the same quality frames.

Pros: Savings the greatest of all options; fast ordering can be done from home; glasses often come money-back guarantees; glasses are shipped right to your door.
Cons: You can’t try on the frames in person.

Choose Frames Your Child Will Love

When you’re choosing eyeglasses, let your child pick the pair they like and will subsequently actually wear. Let’s face it—it was hard enough going to the eye doctor getting them to sit still and focus during the exam. Now you want to shove something new on their face and expect them to keep it there? Good luck.

Believe me: let them choose a pair, within reason (do you really want them going to school looking like Mr. Magoo?). Your child will likely care more about the actual color than the style of the glasses anyway. As the parent, you can figure out what glasses frames will look best on your child and steer them toward those frame shapes—then step back. Just be prepared to say no to the neon orange or zebra stripes unless you are one for originality.

Get to It!

Now is the important part—actually using this information to help your child! Look for symptoms that your child needs glasses. If you find the signs—follow them and get to the eye doctor. Your child will (eventually) thank you for it.

Author Byline

Jocelyn Gibbons

Jocelyn Gibbons

Jocelyn Gibbons has a background in both creative and technical writing. She is currently the creative marketing director for Just Eyewear, an online prescription eyeglasses retailer.

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