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This post was most recently updated on May 25th, 2020
Being able to see is vital for your child to be able to have the visual skills necessary for them to perform well in school. A common question that most parents ask is “What age should I get my child’s eyes examined?”.
Your child’s eyes first officially examined around 6-months when doctor’s are basically just testing pupil responses. Children can get comprehensive eye exams as low as the age of three or four, this all depends on your eye doctor’s office. Some optometrists are more comfortable examining younger children than others, be sure to check with yours to see how young they can examine children.
Prescription Eyeglasses For Kids
As far as the eyeglasses themselves, many optical retailers online and in-store carry a wide range of prescription eyeglasses for kids, these include your kid’s frames, sunglasses, as well as sports goggles. Some optical retailers will carry glasses for toddlers as well.
When you are choosing frames for your children, you are going to want to pick a frame that fits well, seems sturdy, and one of the most important factors, your child has to like them. If your child does not like the frames, the chances are they are not going to be wearing those glasses.
Signs your child may need glasses
It is not easy to detect vision problems in children, many times your child might not let you know that they are not able to see well. There are signs that may indicate that your child may be experiencing some sort of vision problems, and should be taken for a comprehensive eye exam. Here are some common signs you might be able to notice.
- Squinting – Squinting is one of the most common signs that your child may be experiencing some sort of vision issue. your child may be trying to improve their focus by squinting. This is your brain subconsciously trying to remove the blurry vision. Doing this for extended periods of time will lead to unwanted headaches.
- Covering One Eye – If your child is covering one eye to see, or tilting their head you should definitely take them to get checked out. This could be a sign that the eyes could be misaligned, or they could have a lazy eye. Your child may complain of double vision when they have both their eyes open.
- Sitting close to the television or reading close to eyes – This is a bit harder to notice these days due to televisions being so big these days, but if your child is on a tablet or smartphone and you notice them holding it close to their eyes then this is a sign they might need some sort of vision correction.
- Complaining about headaches – If your child starts complaining about headaches frequently, there is a chance that it could be caused by their eyes.
- Having trouble reading – If you notice that your child is having trouble reading and understanding sentences, it might be worth it to have an eye check-up just to make sure there isn’t anything wrong with their vision.
- Rubbing eyes excessively – If your child is rubbing their eyes constantly, this might be a sign of eye fatigue or strain. It is best to have their eyes checked out.
Why are eye exams important for kids?
It is very important that your child gets the eye care they need while they are young to make sure their eyes are developing as they are supposed to. Vision problems could cause performance problems for your children in school and could affect their safety.
Some conditions could lead to lifelong vision problems and lead to limitations for them as adults. Here are some of the most common eye conditions that are found in children.
- Amblyopia – Amblyopia is commonly referred to as “lazy eye”. This is the most common cause of vision problems among children. When this happens the brain favors one eye more than the other, which then could cause the wandering eye. This is a condition that could lead to lifelong vision problems if left untreated.
- Strabismus – Strabismus is commonly referred to as “crossed eye”. This is when the eyes do not look in the same direction at the same time, this could be caused by nerve injury, as well as dysfunction of the muscles that control the movement of your eyes. This is a condition that has the potential to get worse if left untreated but can be treated at a young age.
- Ptosis – This is a condition in which the upper eyelid is falling or drooping. This is a condition that may require surgery and you should definitely take your child to an ophthalmologist to have it looked at. Ptosis could cause other vision problems if left untreated.
Check out this video below provided by VSP Vision Care on why children need eye exams.
Tips for picking your child’s prescription eyeglasses
After you have gotten an exam done with your eye doctor, if your child does indeed need to wear prescription glasses then there are a few things you should keep in mind when you are looking for glasses for your child.
- Fit – They should fit your child’s face good, and not be too small or oversized. Adjustments to frames can be made by an optician, but it is fairly limited so the frame size has to be correct in the first place. If you are making your prescription glasses purchase online, check out this article to figure out the frame size.
- Your Child has to like them – Whenever you pick out frames for your child, make sure that your child actually likes them as well. This will increase the likelihood that they keep the glasses on. This will provide fewer opportunities for them to break.
- Sports – If your child plays a sport, they do make sports glasses with a prescription for active kids. These glasses are designed to be more durable and come with padding at high contact places.
- Polycarbonate/Trivex lenses – Polycarbonate or Trivex lenses should always be purchased for your child unless otherwise directed by your eye doctor. Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses offer the most impact-resistant lenses, which provide an extra level of safety for children as they tend to be more active. Polycarbonate lenses also have built-in UV protection, to protect your child’s eyes from the harmful rays from the sun.
- Blue Light Protection – With the boom in technology children today are consumed by devices from a very young age. Blue light exposure from these artificial sources such as tablets, smartphones, and televisions can have some serious concerns, especially in children.
- Backup Pair – Kids can be particularly hard on their eyeglasses, it is a good idea to have a backup pair just in case the first pair breaks. This is extra important if your child has a strong prescription and may have a hard time if they didn’t have their glasses.
- Photochromic/Sunglasses – Photochromic or sunglasses could be a good choice to provide glare reduction, along with comfort and protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
- Warranty – It is always good to check with the retailer that you are purchasing your child’s eyeglasses to see what kind of warranty they have for their frames. Most retailers come with some sort of warranty on their frames.
Sometimes your eye doctor will make recommendations on how your child should be wearing their glasses. Sometimes it could be full-time, sometimes just for school work. Most of the time there won’t be specific recommendations and it will be up to you as the parent to make sure your child wears their glasses.
Remember your child being able to see is directly related to how well they do at school so keep an eye out for any of the warning signs that they might be having vision problems.
Does your child wear prescription glasses? When did you first notice? Let me know below! As always thank you all for stopping by at Eye Health Headquarters, if you have any comments, or questions don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment box below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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5 thoughts on “Prescription Eyeglasses for Kids – 6 Signs Your Child May Need Glasses”
Thanks for this many tips. I have a daughter but never thought of checking if she might need glasses. I need some sice some years, for reading an my wife too.
I observe our daughter likes to look very close when she uses her tablet. When doing her homework or writing I haven’t noticed anything.
She surely sees better than me at close distance.
Still I want to make the tests you recommend to make sure she doesn’t have a disadvantage.
Hi Stefan, children really should have their eyes checked annually regardless. These signs that you may notice would make it more urgent to get them to an eye doctor for an exam, but children’s eyes are constantly changing and a routine eye exam would make sure there aren’t any problems that you may not notice. Thanks for stopping by!
These tips were very useful and it was also good to learn about the signs that my child might need some kind of vision correction. I will be sure to keep an eye out for these signs and fingers crossed all will ok. Do you generally find that eye problems are genetic? Both my partner and I don’t have any eye issues so we are hoping this will be the same for our daughter-but wondering if these things can be a stand alone unique issue in kids. Can standing too close to the television do eye damage? We are constantly telling our daughter to stand back. She has had her eyes checked recently and all is fine, but I am concerned about how often we have to remind her to stand back from it. Thanks for the info.
Hi there Liz, while there are some eye problems that have a strong relationship with genetics, there are plenty of other eye conditions that have causes not related to genetics, such as Amblyopia or also know as “lazy eye.”
As far as standing too close to the television, that could lead to long term damage completely unrelated to your eyes prescription. Check out out our article Effects of Blue Light on Eyes for more information on that.
A good opportunity to study the topic of eye health.
Here we discuss the topic of children’s eyes health. Do we, adults, often ask ourselves what load the child’s eyes carry?
Do we know that today the situation is not uncommon when a child goes to school with good eyesight and ends up in first grade with glasses?
Children’s eyes, which are not suitable for long-term work at close range, are under serious strain. It is because of this, the risk of developing myopia in children is much higher than in adults.
But it is not only a matter of school stress. Today, the way kids spend their free time has changed dramatically.Therefore, ophthalmologists urge parents to take care of children’s vision.
I want to share that the military medical commission found in my left eye Amblyopia 0.3. I was a schoolboy of 16 years and trained the eye for about a year. This did not improve.
The author of the article, our caring expert- doctor, deserves great gratitude from readers-patients. Thank you. Mark