Eyeglasses for Infants and Children

Testing and Correcting Kids’ Vision

Shortly after birth, your baby’s eyes should be examined for vision problems and signs of disease. An infant’s eyes can be checked by an ophthalmologist through a dilated pupil even though the tiny patient is too young to give verbal responses to testing. Remember, the earlier any potential problem is detected, the earlier it can be corrected.

If your child needs glasses, there are several factors to consider when purchasing them.

Get the Best Lenses
For most children, the ideal lens is made of polycarbonate. It’s strong, lightweight and shatterproof, safety factors for active toddlers and budding athletes. Polycarbonate does scratch easily, so a scratch-resistant coating is usually a good idea.

Find the Right Frames and a Good Fit
The lens prescription will frequently influence what sort of frame you should choose for your child’s glasses; certain kinds of frames work poorly with certain kinds of lenses. Your Eye M.D. will explain the options. When possible, purchase glasses from a pediatric ophthalmologist, and be sure to investigate the various devices available to ensure a proper fit:

  • Silicone nose pads with non-skid surfaces will prevent frames from slipping.
  • Comfort cables secure children’s glasses by wrapping around their ears. Comfort cable temples are available for frame sizes worn by infants one to four years old.
  • Flexible hinges bend outward, useful for a child who pulls the temples away from their head when removing their glasses.
  • Straps may be needed to replace ear pieces in babies. Infants wearing straps are able to roll or lay on their side without discomfort or dislodging the glasses.
  • Shop for your child the way you would for yourself– try to match the frame style to the child’s facial shape and features. The more a kid likes their glasses, the more care they may take with them.

Selling Your Child on Glasses

If the child is old enough, let him or her choose the frames. Say nice things about your child’s new glasses, and talk to siblings beforehand to keep teasing to a minimum. Some infants will simply refuse to wear the glasses and pull them off. Don’t fight it, just be persistent. Put the glasses on the baby and then stage some sort of distraction. If the baby pulls them off again, set them aside and wait awhile before trying again.

If you have questions about the fit of the glasses, take your child back to the Eye M.D. If your child continues to remove the glasses, talk to your doctor for further help.

© Copyright 2007 American Academy of Ophthalmology