When my son was diagnosed with strabismus and needed to wear glasses, I honestly had no clue how to choose them, and how to truly care for them. I didn’t realize that maintaining and caring for glasses, especially with a rambunctious 4-year-old, would be easier said than done.
I never had to wear them, so I was completely clueless.
Thankfully, after learning how to navigate through this on my own, along with some helpful tips from experienced close family & friends, I’ve put together an easy list to help you make this transition uncomplicated, smooth and fun!
9 Helpful Tips for Kids with Glasses
1) Find a place that caters to kids
I cannot stress this enough, parents! I’ve had good and bad experiences and the difference is seriously like night and day. Unfortunately, as good as some optical places are, if they’re not used to dealing with little ones (especially toddlers/preschoolers), it can really put a damper on the experience for everyone involved, especially your child.
I am pleased to say that my experiences at my local Zehrs Optical Department have always been pleasant. The staff were friendly and thoughtful towards my children and they carried a nice supply of glasses for kids. And, of course, their amazing offering with the Kids See Free Program, which provides kids ages 4-10 with any frame valued up to $49 with single vision, polycarbonate ‘kids safe’ lenses for free once per year! You can learn more by checking out my recent post here.
2) Find frames your kids will love
Letting your child have a say in which frames they wear will make them feel even more empowered and excited to wear them. In addition to looking good, make sure the frames fit comfortably. The staff and/or optician can certainly help you find a pair that fit and sit on your child’s face the best.
3) Have a spare set
Just like needing a spare set of house keys, a spare set of glasses is a must!
Thankfully unlike children’s shoes or clothing, your child will not grow out of them in 2 months or so. You don’t need to purchase a second pair right away, but I do encourage you to inquire on specials like buy one, get the 2nd half off, etc.
The Zehrs Optical Department usually has some exceptional deals and their prices are on point and won’t dent your bank account.
4) Make them sports-friendly
If you’ve got a child in sports, wearing glasses requires a little extra attention.
My son plays soccer every week and ensuring that the glasses stay on him was very important for us. He needs his glasses to see well, so taking them off temporarily is not an option.
Thankfully, in our case, the glasses really stay on his face even when he’s running but if that’s not the case for you and your child, preparing with a glass strap or a pair of well-fitted protective eyewear can help him/her stay in the game. Speak to an optician about the protective eyewear options for kids to wear when playing sports.
5) Practice positive reinforcement
Did your child put on their glasses without having to be asked? Or sit through a long eye exam without a complaint? Let them know what a good job they are doing and reward them with a favorite treat, game or experience. You won’t believe how quickly they’ll want to wear their glasses again!
6) Teach them how to keep their glasses clean
If you’ve never had to wear glasses, have you ever put on a pair of sunglasses only for them to be fogged up or dirty? Imagine driving or working with them like that for hours. Impossible, right? Now imagine our children’s glasses being smudged & dirty and trying to focus on school tasks or running around playing sports or at recess with dirty lenses. They are not only an inconvenience but a safety hazard.
Usually little ones don’t bother to notice or mention anything about dirty lenses, so it’s important to remind them. Also, mention it to your child’s teacher.
Teach kids how to clean the lens without scratching them and have a cleaning kit in a central location in your house, so its’s readily accessible. Also, leave a pack of cleaning solution wipes in your child’s backpack.
Make sure to only use a cleaning solution specially-made to clean glasses and use a microfiber cloth to shine up those lenses. Water or mild dish soap will work too, but make sure you still use a soft microfiber cloth. Paper towels and many other fabrics tend to leave tiny scratches, so give kids a special cloth to use instead. You can also find pre-moistened lens cloths that work well. These are perfect for your child to keep in their backpack, locker, desk, or by their bed.
7) Bedtime spot
Designate a place in your child’s room where they leave their glasses for bedtime and bath time.
Typically, their bedside dresser is a good place, lens-side up to avoid scratches from rough surfaces, dirt and debris. Remind your child that couches, chairs, and the floor next to their bed are not safe places to store their glasses.
We are still reminding him how to place his glasses inside his case, but he does have the habit now of placing them on his bedside without us telling him.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times in the beginning we had to play lost and found with his glasses. Keep reminding them – they’ll get the hang of it!
8) Teach them how to remove and put on glasses properly
My son can be a little rough when removing his glasses which caused his first pair to get loose very quickly.
Show your kids how to use both hands to remove their glasses.
Have them grip both side arms and pull eyeglass frames straight off of their face, rather than using only one hand. This will prevent any uneven wear and keep glasses fitting properly.
9) ID their glasses
We almost lost our son’s glasses one too many times, especially at school and at sports. They put them down for a second and sometimes forget where they placed them.
We did recover his glasses only because we added a small name tag on the inside of his case which included our phone number.
Wearing glasses should be effortless and should not cause any burden for both the child and the parents. I hope these tips help your child(ren) learn how to properly wear and care for their glasses as much as they do for ours!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Loblaw Optical Departments; however, all opinions expressed are entirely those of the author.