Today, my Mum who lives in a little town in West Wales (rather far from us here in Cardiff!) called me at the practice and told me that one of my little sister’s best friends was about to add me on Facebook and send me a message. The lady’s little boy (two years old) had recently started wearing spectacles and had fallen over, ending up with a rather sore looking spectacle shaped mark near his eye, from where the glasses had been pressed against his face when he fell.
Sure enough, soon after I got off the phone to my Mum (Hi Mum if you’re reading this!) the lady sent me a Facebook message and some photos. What immediately struck me is that the frame that the little boy was wearing was too big for him. After some advice, the little boy’s Mum has now chosen to look at Miraflex frames (which are very robust and practically unbreakable frames made especially for little ones) probably customised with some Blinx charms for the his next pair of spectacles.
Whilst I don’t think at all that the fit of the spectacles was the reason for his fall, it is so important to make sure that children’s frames are a good fit. There are so many reasons for this, the most obvious reasons being that they won’t slip down or fall off if they’re not too loose and they won’t feel uncomfortable or rub if they’re not too tight – but there are more reasons to make sure of a good fit.
For instance, did you know that the smaller the lens, the thinner the lenses can be? So if the lens area is rather big, the lenses will often be thicker and heavier, meaning the glasses will end up being uncomfortable and will slip down the nose. Also, you may end up paying to have lenses thinned down where the lenses would naturally be thinner if a smaller frame was chosen.
If the lens is too small, the child may end up looking over the top of the lens, rather than through it. Speaking of looking over the top – if the frame is too loose, they will slip down and then the child is again, looking over the top of the lenses and not through their prescription.
Fitting spectacles to young children and babies is so tricky. There are so many factors to take into account. Here are some tips to help you choose a good frame for your child.
- Make sure that the person helping you choose frames is a qualified optician.
- Ask the optician which frames they would recommend based on your child’s prescription.
- Try and choose a frame where your child’s eye is looking through the centre of the lens.
- Make sure your child does not feel that the spectacles are uncomfortable.
- Make sure that before your child leaves the practice with their new glasses, that if they shake their head or tip their chin down, the glasses do not slip all the way down their nose.
- Babies, young children and children with special needs may well need a more specialist pair of glasses (Miraflex and Centrostyle are my favourites!) but not all practices supply these. Ask if these are available and don’t be afraid to look elsewhere if you’re not sure. You can absolutely take your child’s prescription to another optician.
I hope all of this helps and if you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (username @PBOpticians) and drop me a message there.