1. Lens Type
Polycarbonate is one of the most durable lenses available, so it can adhere to a child's lifestyle without becoming a potential danger. This lens material is impact resistant, so if a child is playing and falls, these lenses won't shatter like plastic or glass lenses do. They are also lighter than plastic or glass lenses, which helps the child's adjustment to wearing eyeglasses.
"If your child wears prescription glasses, we strongly suggest polycarbonate lenses for their safety," says Dr. Hodgson of FramesDirect.com. "These lenses are impact-resistant, which will help protect your child from injuries if he or she has an accident while wearing eyeglasses."
Lenses come with several options, and a few of these are a wise idea for your child. Scratch-resistant coating on the lenses will ensure that your child's eyeglasses will last even if they're dropped or mishandled. Most polycarbonate lenses come with UV protection, so be sure to check with your eye doctor to make sure this option is included.
2. Frame Type Plastic frames used to be the preferred lens type for children because of their durability, until metal materials became more useful and durable. Flexon frames are lightweight, stylish, come in a variety of colors, can bend in different directions and always return to their original form. These frames are very useful if your child occasionally mishandles their frames or tends to fall asleep while wearing them.
3. Frame Look
Fortunately for parents, many designers make specialty children's frames that fit their needs and have an attractive appearance. Though your child may want to pick out frames on their own, parents should oversee the procedure to make sure they are getting frames that function correctly for them. For instance, rimless or semi-rimless frames are generally not recommended for children, because the frames don't secure the lenses as effectively as other frame types. If rimless frames are mishandled, they can simply loose the lens, or in more severe cases, the lens can become chipped inside the frame and cause a potential injury.
4. Nose Pads
Another benefit of metal frames is that most of them come with adjustable nose pads, with non-slip pads available as an option. This benefits the child in two ways: they can adjust the nose pad so it fits comfortably and securely, and the non-slip pad will ensure that the glasses stay properly fixed to the child's face.
Though Flexon and other frame types are relatively durable, if your child is an active sports enthusiast then goggles are recommended. Typical eyeglass frames don't secure to the child's head during active moments, and if the glasses fall off repeatedly they could cause an injury. Prescription goggles secure to the child's head so they don't fall off, and the material is much more shatter resistant and durable than typical eyeglasses.
6. Warranties and Spare Pairs
Most doctor offices and eyewear designers offer warranties on eyeglasses for children. Make sure you find a pair of eyeglasses that has at least a one year warranty. Aside from a warranty, it's also a good idea to have spare pair of glasses on hand in case your child's glasses are lost or broken, and you have to wait for another pair to be ordered.