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With any child, it’s difficult to override their personal will to get them to do what you want them to do. Often, if they don’t want to do something – especially toddlers – they won’t do it. So what if they need corrective lenses? Here are some tips to ensure their glasses stay on their face.
Let them pick their glasses: Let your child have a say in the glasses they will be wearing. If they feel like they picked the glasses out themselves, they are more likely to be proud of them and want to show them off. It’s a sad truth that kids may experience some teasing from their peers about their glasses, but if they choose frames they think are cool, they are more likely to wear them. This process has to be within reason – nothing inappropriate, too expensive, or fragile, as kids will most likely damage or break the pair at some point.
Make sure they fit: Proper fitting of the frames is crucial. If frames are too tight, the glasses will slide off kids’ noses or won’t stay on their ears. Because children’s noses are not yet fully developed, it’s important to choose metal frames with adjustable nose pads or plastic frames with a small enough bridge to stay in place. The temple style of the glasses must also suit the child – the temple on a pair of glasses is the ‘arm’ that extends from the lenses to the back of the ear. Wraparound temples may be necessary to keep the glasses in place, particularly for toddlers and babies. This type of temple style is longer and wraps around the back of the child’s ear to hold the frames in place. Finally, because not all heads are the same shape, it’s a good idea to find a pair of glasses with spring hinges on the temples. This allows the temples to flex outward without breaking, letting the frames flex to fit the child’s head and be more comfortable to wear.
Choose the right lenses: Having the correct lenses is as crucial to the comfort of the glasses as properly fitting frames. When children are at school or playing, the last thing they’ll think of is their glasses, which is why it’s important to choose lenses that are durable. Crizal Kids UV lenses are scratch-resistant and made from impact-resistant material. Strong prescriptions often result in thicker lenses – in this case, try to choose smaller frames to minimize the risk of blurred or distorted peripheral vision and discomfort.
Make the glasses a source of pride: Children who need glasses may not understand why they suddenly have to wear them while their peers don’t, which can be a source of anger and frustration. Have your child participate in positive activities focusing on their glasses like the Great Glasses Play Day, which is a national celebration held the first weekend in May across 28 cities in the U.S. that focuses on “making sure the kids see that wearing glasses is normal.”
Persuasion: According to Katheryn Dabbs Shramm, chief executive of A Child’s View Inc., creative parenting is required to ensure young children wear glasses every day. She suggests an immediate response to a child who has taken off their glasses. “The technique we suggest is persuasion—every time Joey takes glasses off, mommy or daddy is there to immediately put them on and say ‘Only mommy or daddy takes your glasses off,” she said in a recent Wall Street Journalarticle.
Finally, because children are often tough on their glasses it’s a good idea to purchase a backup pair – especially if the glasses are to be worn full-time. Another good reminder is the saying, “if it’s not on your face, it’s in the case,” to protect glasses at night or other times when they are not being worn.
As with anything worth teaching children, consistency is key, so don’t get discouraged if children reject glasses at first. With these tips and other helpful forums out there, like Little Four Eyes, your child will love their glasses in no time.