Kids' glasses and frames: A guide to fun children's eyewear
Children's eyeglass frames are fun to shop for. With so many new styles, you and your child are sure to find a pair of kids' eyeglasses you both will love.
Choices range from brands based on popular characters or childhood icons to more "grown-up" styles.
The best children's eyeglasses also feature durability and safety features for your peace of mind.
What kids want in eyeglass frames
Many children want eyeglasses that look just like the glasses their parents or older brothers and sisters wear.
Plastic frames in elongated rectangular shapes, small, retro-styled ovals, and even thin titanium frames are all available for today's small customers.
Pop culture icons and logos also are big in kids' eyeglasses. Cartoon characters are coming out of the television and into the eyewear stores with their own line of children's frames. Many of these are grown-up in appearance but with fun details, like glow-in-the-dark plankton on SpongeBob SquarePants frames or paw prints on Blue's Clues styles.
The popular Harry Potter books and movies have created a demand for frames "just like Harry's" among many kids, while older children are influenced by trendy brands and logos they see their sports heroes wearing.
No matter the style or brand, it's important for children to feel that they are a part of the frame selection process. Choosing eyeglass frames they like goes a long way toward getting them to wear their glasses and take good care of them as well.
Children's eyeglasses: Durability and safety
While kids may want eyeglass frames with a specific color or brand, parents generally want something that's going to last.
Look for kids' frames with features such a spring hinges (which let the frame's temples bend in both directions) and flexible frame materials (which can withstand accidents such as sitting on frames or over-bending the temples when taking glasses on and off). These durability features reduce your costs over time.
Thinner, lighter and stronger materials, like stainless steel and titanium, are becoming very popular in children's eyewear. Frames made from these durable materials are great for kids who are hard on their glasses.
Also, most eyewear manufacturers and optical shops offer extended warranties on children's eyeglasses so you can feel more at ease about your investment in your child’s eyewear.
Polycarbonate lenses or trivex lenses are the best choice for children's eyewear. These lightweight and very impact-resistant lenses offer the best combination of comfort and safety.
For added durability, be sure to purchase lens coatings that make the lenses more scratch-resistant.
Five trends in children's eyewear
Designers have taken cool and classic designs that work for adults and scaled them down for kids. Don't be surprised if your child wants eyeglasses that look a lot like yours.
Branded or licensed eyewear lines grab a child's attention. Fisher-Price, Hush Puppies, Disney and Marvel Comics appeal to kids of all ages, but especially to very young children. Lines related to extreme sports (X-Games), basketball (Nike, Converse) and other sports are very popular with slightly older kids.
Spring hinges, strong and flexible frame materials and impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses help protect your child's eyes — as well as your financial investment in the glasses.
Don't forget about sunglasses for kids. Protecting your child's eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays may lower the risk of adult eye problems like cataracts later in life. Photochromic lenses made of impact-resistant polycarbonate provide 100 percent UV protection and are a great option for both indoor and outdoor wear.
For the child who is fast becoming a teenager, eyewear fashion is important. Designer eyeglass frames from Guess?, Calvin Klein and others are very appealing to "tweens." Also popular are frames branded with apparel and accessories names such as Esprit and Nine West.
Shopping for glasses for children can be a fun experience. Be sure to allow your child enough time to try on a variety of styles so she can get accustomed to seeing herself wearing glasses and be happy with the frames she selects.