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Eyeglasses: Help Your Child Adjust

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KEY POINTS

  • Ask your child’s eye care provider to explain to your child why glasses are needed, and when your child should wear them.
  • Let your child help pick out frames that he or she likes and that feel comfortable.
  • Make glasses seem cool for your child. Many children are concerned that they look weird, or that everyone is looking at them when they first get glasses. Point out sports figures, celebrities, or musicians who wear glasses.
  • Make the glasses a part of your child's daily routine. If your child takes the glasses off, put them back on in a firm but loving manner. Praise your child for remembering to wear glasses.

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Your child may not understand that glasses are needed to see better. Some children need glasses for reading and homework. Other children need glasses to see at a distance, and some children need to wear glasses all the time.

Why don’t children wear glasses?

Wearing glasses can make your child feel different. Your child may worry about getting teased by other kids. Your child may think that he or she won't be able to play sports or that the glasses look ugly.

Glasses may feel uncomfortable or heavy at first. Your child may forget to put them on or forget to take them to school.

How can I help my child?

Here are some ideas to help your child adjust to wearing glasses.

Get the right glasses.

Ask your child’s eye care provider to explain to your child why glasses are needed and when your child should wear them.

Let your child help pick out the frames. Glasses should fit well, be comfortable, and provide clear vision. Do not buy large or adult frames for a child to grow into. Loose glasses will start to slide down your child’s nose. Glasses that are too tight can hurt behind the ears. If the frames become bent or you notice redness or sore patches on your child’s nose or behind the ears, have the glasses adjusted. The place where you got the glasses will adjust them at no charge.

Children's lenses should be made of polycarbonate, which is a shatter-proof material with built-in UV protection from the sun’s harmful rays. It is the safest material and is lighter in weight than other lenses. If your child plays sports, sports goggles can help prevent eye injury.

Check screws and other fittings regularly to make sure the glasses are secure. Do not try to adjust the glasses yourself, as they may break. Keep your child’s glasses clean.

Make wearing glasses enjoyable.

Start your child off by having him or her wear the glasses for short periods of time. It helps to link wearing glasses to something your child enjoys, such as watching a favorite video. Find picture books that show children wearing glasses. Praise your child for remembering to wear the glasses.

If teasing or bullying is a problem from schoolmates, talk with your child about how to deal with the teasing. Often if your child ignores the teasing, it stops. Help your child practice ways to respond to bullying. Talk with the teacher about it.

If your child needs to wear glasses all the time, a flexible strap that goes around the head can help hold glasses in place. For very young children, glasses with temples that wrap around the ear can be helpful to keep them in place.

Be positive.

Point out how good the glasses look on your child and ways in which glasses will be helpful. The attitude of parents and grandparents can influence a child more than most people think. For a very young child, "being just like Daddy" may be what counts.

Many children are concerned that they look weird, or that everyone is looking at them when they first get glasses. Point out sports figures, celebrities, or musicians who wear glasses. Make glasses seem cool for your child.

Make it routine.

Make the glasses a part of your child's daily routine. Have your child put them on in the morning as your child is getting dressed and take them off before naps and bedtime. Let teachers know when your child should wear glasses.

Keep discipline calm and matter-of-fact.

Remind your child that glasses help him or her see better. If your child takes the glasses off, put them back on in a firm but loving manner. Praise your child for remembering to wear glasses. Sometimes you just need to insist that your child wear the glasses. Contact your child’s eye care provider if he or she continues to refuse to wear glasses.

Teach your child how to care for glasses.

Once your child is old enough to help care for the glasses, teach him or her to put the glasses in a case when not wearing them. Help your child learn ways to remember the glasses when traveling to and from school or other activities. Teach older children to clean lenses with a special lens cloth.

Developed by Change Healthcare.
Pediatric Advisor 2019.4 published by Change Healthcare.
Last modified: 2019-02-19
Last reviewed: 2019-02-18
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2018 Change Healthcare LLC and/or one of its subsidiaries
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