Choosing glasses for kids can be tricky. You need to find a pair that suits their needs, are durable for their active lifestyle, are comfortable to wear and most importantly a pair they’ll want to wear.
We asked Bupa optometrist Karen Makin for tips to help you choose the perfect glasses for your child.
If your child tends to spend a lot of time on screens in the evening, it’s worth considering a blue light filter for their glasses, Makin says. Blue light is a high energy, short wavelength light that’s emitted by the sun during the day – and by devices and LED lights.
It hits our retinas all the way at the back of our eyes to tell the body it’s daytime – and that we should be wide awake. Which is fine when the day’s getting started, but not so much when it’s time for bed.
“Using a device when it’s getting closer to their bedtime can disrupt their sleeping habits. The blue light filter will block blue light so their bodies can produce enough melatonin to give them a good night’s sleep,” Markin explains.
If your child plays a contact sport, such as football, approved sports glasses or goggles will provide the best protection against eye injury.
“Sports glasses and goggles come with a strap so they don’t fall off, but you can buy straps to put onto normal frames too.” Another option which may be right for you and your child is contact lenses.
And because kids tend to be a little forgetful, Makin recommends getting a spare pair.
All lenses block a high level of UV light. With that said, if your child needs to wear glasses all the time, they’ll need prescription sunglasses too.
Regardless of what glasses they wear outdoors, your child must wear a hat and sunscreen as well.
“The sun can still get in around the edges of the frames – it’s only the portion of the face that the frame and lens covers that’s actually protected,” Makin points out.
Speaking of outdoor time, make sure your child gets outside regularly.
“A couple of hours, at least, outside every day is really good for the development of the eye and to reduce the risk of myopia or short-sightedness,” Makin says.
Just make sure they have appropriate SPF protection, of course!
It’s important to get regular eye checks for your kids, too (find out more here).