Choosing Eyewear for Children
Now that kids have been back in school, they may begin to notice vision problems they didn’t realize during the lazy days of summer. After bringing your child in for a comprehensive eye exam, you may face the decision of choosing your child’s first pair of eyewear. The tough part can be deciding what option to choose.
At the end of the day, if a child won’t wear his/her glasses, it’s money out the window. It’s important to choose eyewear that your child feels comfortable in, both the way they fit and the way they feel.
Things to consider when choosing eyewear for your child:
You want to consider your child’s prescription and the thickness of their lenses. The stronger the prescription, the smaller the frames should be to reduce peripheral distortion.
You’ll also want to consider proper bridge fit. How the frames sit on your child’s nose will impact whether or not they slide down or fit comfortably.
There are many temple styles to choose from with children’s frames. Toddlers and younger children may benefit from wrap-around styles that go around the head or styles that wrap around the ears, so the glasses don’t fall off.
Lifestyle is very important to consider when choosing eyewear. If your child plays sports, consider getting him/her a pair of prescription sports glasses. Regular street wear is not recommended for sports play, because the risk of injury is greater than if they weren’t wearing any eyewear. If your child spends a lot of time outside, consider going with photochromic (Transitions®) lenses or a secondary pair of prescription sunglasses.
At EyeCare Specialties, we offer a great children’s package. You can get a complete pair of children’s eyewear including the frames, lenses and any coatings for 50% off. Included in this offer is our Warranty Plus program; If your child breaks or loses their eyewear, you can replace them once for just 25% of the original cost.
The Frame Experts at EyeCare Specialties can help make sure that the eyewear you select fits properly and ensures the best vision for your child. Plus, our Frame Experts have some unique insight into what’s cool with the younger crowd.
Why Back-to-School Eye Exams Are So Important
With the days of hanging out at the pool or chasing fireflies in the front yard coming to an end, now is the perfect time to schedule your back-to-school eye exam.
It is easy to become overwhelmed with the flurry of back-to-school activities, but making sure your child’s eyes are healthy is extremely important to his/her success in school and overall health.
According the the Nebraska Optometrics Association, 80% of what a child learns in school is acquired through vision. Children often don’t know they have a vision problem because they get used to not seeing adequately.
Sometimes children can perform well on the basic vision screening conducted at the pediatricians office and still have a vision disorder. The basic screening is designed to check visual acuity (how well your child can see at a distance) but does not check other vision disorders that can only be detected through a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist.
According to the Nebraska Optometrics Association,
“Every child needs to have the following vision skills for effective reading and learning:
- Visual acuity — the ability to see clearly in the distance for viewing the chalkboard, at an intermediate distance for the computer, and up close for reading a book.
- Eye Focusing — the ability to quickly and accurately maintain clear vision as the distance from objects change, such as when looking from the chalkboard to a paper on the desk and back. Eye focusing allows the child to easily maintain clear vision over time like when reading a book or writing a report.
- Eye tracking — the ability to keep the eyes on target when looking from one object to another, moving the eyes along a printed page, or following a moving object like a thrown ball.
- Eye teaming — the ability to coordinate and use both eyes together when moving the eyes along a printed page, and to be able to judge distances and see depth for class work and sports.
- Eye-hand coordination — the ability to use visual information to monitor and direct the hands when drawing a picture or trying to hit a ball.
- Visual perception — the ability to organize images on a printed page into letters, words and ideas and to understand and remember what is read.”
By scheduling your child’s eye exam now, your optometrist will be able to determine if any of these skills are lacking and can help your family take steps to ensure the best possible vision, making school and learning a more successful and enjoyable experience.
Dr. Devine Recommends Back-to-School Eye Exams
Back-to-school season is upon us and it is time to consider the health of your child’s eyes. All parents want their children to be well-prepared to excel academically and good eyesight is imperative to do so. On the list of things to do when preparing your kids for school this fall, be sure to include an eye exam.
Growing eyes need attention and a child’s sight can change dramatically from one year to the next. Even if you do not think your child needs glasses, you should schedule an appointment to make sure their vision is in good health. Some children need glasses, but have learned to compensate and do not tell anyone. Researchers estimate that between 75-80% of what we learn comes through our eyes and visual systems. By making sure your child’s vision is clear, you are solving what could be the reason for processing delays or classwork deficiencies.
Two notable things change as children age. First, both textbooks and leisure books are printed in smaller type, which makes the eyes work harder. Second, children begin to spend more time in front of computer screens. Some students’ visual skills may not be up to the task of processing these more difficult formats. A child’s natural response is often to avoid reading or computer work to lessen these visual demands. Unfortunately, when school work is avoided, their overall education begins to suffer.
If your child has not had an eye exam in the last year, I encourage you to schedule a comprehensive visual exam soon. By taking action early, you help to ensure you child is at peak visual performance. An exam can also catch warning signs of larger vision-related learning problems, which are always more effectively treated when detected early.
Dr. James Devine is a co-founder and President/CEO of EyeCare Specialties in Lincoln, NE. He brings years of experience to the EyeCare team, with a genuine interest and concern for his patients. He is a graduate of the Southern College of Optometry. Since graduation, he has won recognition for his skills in the field of optometry, served on the governing boards of major optometric associations and is currently a member of the American Optometric Association.