Tips for Buying Glasses and Sunglasses for Your Kids

So, we’ve already covered when your child should have their vision checked. The next step is getting them the help they need after they get a prescription for glasses. That’s where we come in. Opticians are the pharmacists of the eye care world; we fill prescriptions. As a mom and Vancouver eyewear expert, I’m well versed on kids glasses and sunglasses and what needs to be done to find them frames they’ll love. If you’re unsure of how to buy glasses for kids, you’re at the right place. Here are some important things to consider when looking at kids’ frames:

Tips for Buying Glasses and Sunglasses for Your Kids

Fit and Comfort

Fit and comfort are extremely important especially when you’re talking about kids who need to be willing to wear the glasses or sunglasses. Often, children are given really strong prescriptions to begin with and most of them are used to getting by with their vision the way it always has been. It can take a few weeks to work up to wearing the new glasses full time and even then there may still be occasional struggles. Like all big changes, it takes a lot of patience and persistence (pretty much the best parenting advice I’ve ever been given!). It might not seem like it will ever happen but I promise there will be a moment of clarity when the brain switches over to seeing “properly” through corrected lenses and once that breakthrough occurs, kids will rely on their glasses to see. This is when the healing really begins.

Fit and Comfort for Kids Glasses & Sunglasses

Okay, so how can we support our kids through this change? Get the fit right. It’s not always easy but choosing a comfortable frame will make a big difference. Even the smallest discomfort feels big when you’re wearing it all day (this is definitely experience talking). Let’s break this down even further. Consider the basics of fit:

  • The arms of the frame should rest gently on the top of the ears and be adapted to then loop down behind the ear. They may even need to be modified with what is called a cable temple in order to stay in place through even the roughest play. The Spectacle Shoppe will customize things such as cable temples on our metal frames.
  • The bridge of the frame needs to sit comfortably on the bridge of the nose. In smaller children this can be challenging because the bridge starts out low and develops slowly over time. It’s shaped differently than the bridge of an older child or adult. It’s helpful to get a pair with nose pads that can be adjusted, specialty nose pads to saddle the bride and provide the most possibly contact or find a really great bridge fit in a plastic frame that will rest on the bridge without digging. At The Spectacle Shoppe we can modify plastic frames to add adjustable nose pads, which allows more style options without sacrificing fit. There are also some frame manufacturers that offer a frame bridge that is built-up to accommodate the low bridge of a young child.
  • There are three places that a frame can dig and become uncomfortable: on the bridge and the two ears. Addressing these potential issues before they happen is essential.

Frames They'll Love

It’s so important to get your child glasses they’re excited about. Frames that you like but they hate, no matter how comfortable, are unlikely to bring them lasting joy and will give them one more reason not to wear their glasses. Be sure to read through our tips for finding a pair they’ll love. We offer fun, colorful frames for children that make wearing sunglasses or glasses fun. We also suggest gently steering them towards pairs that are similar to what their friends are wearing. It’s always a good idea to ask for support from friends at school and family members too.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Kids’ glasses take a beating. Even the most well-intentioned little one can be rough on their frames. Plus, for the under eight or so crowd, prescription changes may happen fairly regularly. Ask about warranties and prescription policies. Sports glasses, like the Liberty eyewear we carry, are a must-have for really active children and you’ll be thankful for the impact-resistance. You may also want to consider getting a back-up pair too. At the Spectacle Shoppe in Vancouver we have an Essilor package that includes one prescription change in a 15-month warranty period in which we’ll change your lenses at no charge. Not only that, but it offers the thinnest and most impact resistant lenses with coatings to protect your child’s sensitive eyes from harmful UV rays.

What if the frame fit doesn’t work out? We strive to keep at it until it works. The Spectacle Shoppe stands behind the frames we sell, which are also guaranteed for 15 months. Enjoy peace of mind with us. You shouldn’t have to know everything there is to know about fitting glasses just because your child needs them. Count on us to guide you through the process and be sure to check out our large selection of kids eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Morgan Nahanee
Morgan Nahanee


Morgan is The Spectacle Shoppe’s Lead Technician and Customer Relations Specialist as well as a Principle of Spectacle Shoppe. She is a licensed contact lens fitter and dispensing optician and has been working for The Spectacle Shoppe since 2006. She graduated from Douglas College’s two year Dispensing Optician and Contact Lens Fitting Program in 2008. From contact lens fitting to eyeglass repairs and adjustments Morgan is eager to help you with any optical needs. Connect with Morgan Nahanee on Google+