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The Best Eyeglasses for Toddlers

by Sharon Perkins

If your toddler needs eyeglasses, the costs can quickly add up. Buying the right pair from the beginning can reduce the number of times you visit the optician for a new pair. Kid's glasses can feature a number of modifications that make them less likely to fall prey to a toddler's destructive streak. Glasses that fit well and comfortably are more likely to remain on your toddler's face, where they belong.

Frames

You might care about the frames on your toddler's glasses more than he does, since you're probably more interested in his appearance than he is. Cute frames come in both plastic and metal, but for maximum durability, although pricey, look for titanium alloy frames. Your inquisitive toddler can bend and twist them without breaking them. Some toddlers develop skin reactions to certain metals, especially nickel, the All About Vision website explains. To avoid such reactions, ask for hypoallergenic metal frames.

Lenses

Despite the name, most eyeglasses for toddlers don't contain glass; the lenses are made from polycarbonate instead. Polycarbonate doesn't shatter easily, making it an ideal material for toddlers who can be tough on glasses. It's also a lighter material than glass, making it more comfortable to wear. Scratch-resistant coating helps ensure that your toddler will still be able to see out of his lenses after close encounters with objects that could cause scratching. With this coating, polycarbonate lenses will be nearly as durable as glass, according to Vision Service Products. Polycarbonate also provides 100 percent protection from potentially harmful UV rays.

Hinges

If you don't buy flexible titanium alloy frames, you can still decrease the risk of having your toddler's frames end up in pieces by buying glasses with flexible hinges, called spring hinges. Spring hinges allow frames to flex outward without breaking.

Keeping Them On

An adult's glasses normally feature a straight piece, called the temple, that curves slightly and rests on the owner's ears. But when the small owner jumps on trampolines, hangs upside down on jungle gyms and tussles with his older brother, straight temples won't hold his glasses in place on his face. Instead, manufacturers of eyeglasses for children use temple cables, which curve around the ear in a C shape and help hold the eyeglasses in place.

Fit

Frames should fit well; don't buy eyeglasses big enough for your toddler to grow into. Frames need to fit so that the lenses line up properly so your toddler can actually see out of them. If they slip, he'll simply look over the top of the lenses, negating their benefit. Nose pieces made of vinyl or silicone should prevent glasses from digging into your child's nose.

About the Author

A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.

Photo Credits

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