Getting glasses for the first time can be difficult for a child. Still, treating vision problems early and appropriately is vital. As we have discussed before, according to the American Optometric Association, one in four elementary-aged children have undetected vision problems. In addition, vision problems can contribute to other issues: 70% of school age children who have a learning disability in reading have some type of vision impairment.
Eyeglasses are a simple solution that can provide the necessary correction for many vision problems kids face. Glasses can give children improved sight so they’re able to function in academics, sports and other recreational activities and at home. While kids can be fit with contact lenses, younger children are often prescribed glasses first. For some children wearing glasses for the first time can be discouraging or even traumatic. But with patience and preparation parents can help their children adjust to glasses with relative ease. Here are some tips on making the transition as smooth as possible.
Make the first experience positive
When trying on glasses for the first time, try to ensure your child is rested and in a good mood. Let her have some control over the situation by having her help select frames to try on. This way she can wear a pair she likes rather than feeling forced to wear her new glasses.
Ensure a good fit
Kids are much more likely to wear their glasses if they are comfortable. Properly adjusted glasses should not slide around, pinch, or cause pressure for the wearer.
Help make glasses cool
Show your child photos of Harry Potter, Taylor Swift, Superman, Katy Perry, and any other heroes (even real life ones like admired aunts and uncles!) wearing their glasses to show him that many people wear glasses. At the same time, it may be a good idea to talk with your child about how to respond to peers who point out the new specs – kindly or not. Kids are constantly learning about respect and resilience, so it may be helpful to have a conversation with your child about how to handle unkind comments from others.
Be positive (or at least try not to badger)
It may prove to be tough to get your child to wear his glasses consistently. Try making it a part of the morning routine, making it a point to praise your child when he puts them on of his own volition. Punishments and nagging may cause your child to associate the glasses with negativity. Be sure to remind your child to wear his glasses, but try to avoid a struggle over the effort. It will take time.
Optometrists and other eye care professionals have seen kids adjust to wearing glasses for years. Be sure to talk to them – they likely have several tips to help kids get and stay excited about their glasses. It might even help to have an eye care professional explain to your child how exciting it is that glasses will improve her sight – almost like a superpower! Finally, clue family members and friends in on the change, so they’re able to support your child’s new look with a high five!
Getting glasses is a big change for kids, and like any other big change, it will take your child time to get used to the new specs. By taking steps to ensure this adjustment is an easy one, you will help your child navigate this step more easily – and maybe even with a little excitement. Click here to learn more about your child’s vision or contact us to set up an appointment.