Kids' eyeglasses come in a variety of cool styles and kid-friendly colors. If your child needs a pair of eyeglasses, you should know what to look for before you start shopping. Be sure to allow your child to help in selecting the new eyeglasses, as the more he or she likes the eyeglasses, the more he or she will enjoy wearing them. Following are the top six things to keep in mind when picking out eyeglasses for kids.
1. Polycarbonate LensesMost kids' eyeglasses are made of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is an impact-resistant material that is also used in safety lenses. These special lenses do not shatter on impact like glass or regular plastic lenses, reducing the chance of eye injuries in active kids. Polycarbonate is also thinner and lighter in weight than regular plastic lenses, giving the eyeglasses a better cosmetic appearance and more comfort for the kid wearing them. Polycarbonate lenses also have an added bonus: built-in ultraviolet sun protection.
2. Scratch-Resistant CoatingsAlthough basic polycarbonate lenses have a resistant coating, when shopping for kids' eyeglasses, you may want to spring for an upgraded scratch-resistant coating that can be applied to the surface of the lens. This coating makes the lenses even more resistant to scratching. These upgraded coatings usually come with a better warranty if the lenses do scratch. Although no lenses are scratch proof, kids' eyeglasses with scratch-resistant coating will generally last a little longer.
3. Silicone Nose PadsSilicone nose pads are often seen on the frames of kids' eyeglasses, as they tend to be softer and more comfortable. They also have a non-slip surface that helps the eyeglasses stay in the correct position on kids' faces, ensuring good eyesight.
4. Spring HingesSpring hinges applied to kids' eyeglasses allow the frame's temple to bend outward when putting glasses on or taking them off. Kids who yank their eyeglasses off with one hand will be less likely to break them. Flexible metal frames are also available for kids' eyeglasses but tend to be more expensive.
5. TintsLens tints are not generally recommended for kids' eyeglasses because the lenses may be too dark indoors and not dark enough outdoors. However, adding photochromatic lenses is a great way to avoid buying separate pair of kids' sunglasses. Photochromatic lenses automatically darken when your child goes outside to play, and automatically lighten when they return indoors. Another alternative for kids may be a tinted "clip-on." Clip-ons are tinted lenses that are attached to the frame to block sunlight. Keep in mind, however, that a clip-on may be difficult for kids to keep up with.
6. WarrantiesWarranties for kids' eyeglasses vary widely from place to place. Look for doctor offices or opticals that warranty kids' eyeglasses for at least one year from the date of purchase. Although a two-year warranty sounds nice, it is usually not needed for kids' eyeglasses. Kids will probably outgrow the frames by that time anyway. Be sure to ask about scratch warranties. Some doctor offices or opticals will offer a warranty promising to remake kids' eyeglasses one time if significant scratches do occur. Some upgraded warranties will cover unlimited remakes up to one year.