Kids can destroy virtually anything in mere seconds: clothes, toys, books—you name it! So it doesn’t seem likely that any pair of eyeglasses will stand a chance when subjected to the rigors of childhood. Parents might be surprised to learn, however, that there are a number of attractive and affordable glasses for kids that are built to last. Here are some features to look for that will increase both the durability and comfort of any pair of glasses.
Found on both plastic and wire frames, spring hinges allow the earpieces to flex away from the child’s temples without breaking. This is a great option for children who are prone to fidget with their glasses or frequently take them on and off, as they will have a hard time busting frames with spring hinges.
Frames with cable temples are very popular for young children, as they wrap behind the back of the ear and stay in place better than other styles. They are typically only available on wire frames, however, so if you child is enamored with a pair of plastic frames a strap might be a better alternative.
Children are known to be finicky about the fit of everything, not excluding glasses. With an adjustable bridge, parents should never hear complaints about eyeglasses being too tight or too loose. It allows the wearer to adjust the tension of the nose pieces to the most comfortable level. An added bonus: glasses with a proper fitting bridge will be less likely to fall off when the child hangs upside down on the playground or bends over to pick something up. This feature is usually only found on wire frames.
The frame isn’t the only thing that affects the durability of glasses for kids. The lenses are also important. Polycarbonate lenses for children’s eyewear are a popular choice because they are lightweight and impact-resistant. While polycarbonate lenses probably won’t survive being run over by a car, they will withstand frequently being dropped on the ground and possibly even being stepped on a time or two.
A scratch resistant coating of some sort is a must-have for children’s glasses. This will prevent the damage to the lenses when the glasses are shoved in a backpack, pushed between the seats in the car or cleaned with a paper towel.
For some reason, children always seem to have something on their fingers. Glasses that have an oleophobic coating will prevent oily substances and fingerprints from transferring to the lenses. An added bonus for parents: glasses with oleophobic coating allow more light to pass through the lens, so there won’t be any reflection off the glasses in photographs of those cute-kid moments.
Despite choosing a pair of kid’s glasses with all of these features, there is still a chance that they can be broken. Many retailers offer warranties with replacement services. In the event that the frames or lenses are damaged, the retailer will replace the glasses at no cost or for a small fee. Depending on the cost of the prescription lenses, this is often a cost effective solution to consider—especially for toddlers or overly rambunctious children.
For more buying advice, call or e-mail an optical retailer. They can recommend the best brands and features for children’s eyeglasses.