Crikey! Receiving the news for the first time that that your child needs glasses is often terrifying, shocking and raises lots of self-doubt in a parent…. Is it something I have done, missed, could it have been detected earlier?
And however lovely, knowledgeable and explanatory your Optometrist is, you hear or retain very little after the first shocking words “your child requires glasses because……..
As an experienced Optometrist with a special interest in children I always initially spend time with each parent and then reassure them that they can contact me at any time to ask even the silliest of questions.
To try and make parenting life a little easier, below are a few tips to get you through the first time glasses selection:
Looking good – your child should chose the new frame, whenever a child picks their own frame it helps them take pride in their ownership. Trained practice staff should assist by providing several suitable choices. Both parents and staff should be supportive and compliment the child by telling them how great they look in their new glasses. This helps boost the child’s self-confidence.
A Great Fit – To ensure success in getting your child to wear glasses it is important that you purchase the glasses from someone who is experienced in fitting young children.
Often the fit isn’t right first time, trained staff should be more than happy to adjust them as the fit needs to be perfect around the nose and earpieces not only for comfort but to ensure they are looking through the optimum part of the lens.
Additionally adjustable curved earpieces or a strap can be supplied should it be required.
Cost, Repairs and Damages -Parents should consider price when choosing the new glasses, young children frequently loose or break glasses. The NHS does support financially for most repairs/ damages. However it is worth considering a (free at Downes Opticians) second pair or decide to pay a little more for better durability. Believe me it is worth the extra cost if only to alleviate the inconvenience of being without glasses or the additional trips to the Opticians.
A Practice pair – Wearing sunglasses or toy ‘dress up’ glasses can help your child get a feel for wearing glasses before actually doing so (please do not let them try on other children’s or grown-ups glasses).
Adjustment time – once the prescription glasses are ready, if your child is reluctant to wear the glasses or is finding the experience of the newly corrected vision difficult, then start with short increments of wear and increase gradually. Be patient this may take a few days.
Encourage your child to wear their new glasses and praise them for doing so, until they get into the regular routine of wearing them.
Special time – Have your child look at a book with you, watch TV or participate in a close up activity to help them appreciate the importance of wearing their new glasses. Generally once a child notices that the glasses help them see better they will wear them without complaint.
If after several days your child is still having difficulty adjusting to wearing their new glasses try and determine why. If it is a comfort issue this is very easily resolved with a simple adjustment. There are other potential possibilities to consider so you should raise concerns with your Optometrist.
At Downes Opticians we have a particular interest in children’s vision. Our eye examinations are specifically tailored to make the experience great fun and enjoyable. We have a vast range of frames for all ages, shapes and sizes and all our staff are trained and super enthusiastic. Knowing kids so well has prompted our continuous 2 for 1 offer, anything to make this parenting malarkey easier!!!
TIPS for our younger patients that wear glasses?
Here are some tips for those of you that wear glasses:
- Keep your glasses in a special place when you’re not wearing them so that you don’t lose them.
- Keep them safe from younger children and pets.
- Carry a glasses case so that you can protect them from being damaged.
- Clean your glasses every day.
- Look after your eyes and have them checked regularly. If you have any problems always tell your mum or dad, they can then take you to the optician if needed.