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Choosing children's eyeglasses

kid wearing glasses

Children's eyeglass frames are cute, colorful and fun to shop for. With so many styles to choose from, 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 such as Harry Potter, SpongeBob and Barbie, to more "grown-up" styles or a mix of both. Modern children's eyeglasses also feature durability and safety features for your peace of mind.

What kids want in eyeglass frames

Today, 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.

Baby with brown eyeglasses

Cool brands, fun colors and adult styling all appeal to kids. Here, eyeglasses from Miraflex, TC Charton Kids, Tommy Hilfiger Kids, Koodles, Lilly Pulitzer, Shrek, Juicy Girls, Nine West Kids and more.

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.

The popular Harry Potter books and movies have created a demand for frames "just like Harry's" among young children, while older kids 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.

For greater durability, look for kids' frames with features such as spring hinges (which let the frame's temples bend far outward without breaking) and flexible frame materials that 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 kids' glasses.

Polycarbonate 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.

Polycarbonate lenses for kids also are available with extra-durable lens coatings to make the lenses more scratch-resistant. Similar lens coatings can be applied to Trivex lenses as well.

Five trends in children's eyewear

Here are five important trends in eyeglasses for kids to be aware of before you shop:

Black and blue frames

  1. 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.
  2. Branded or licensed eyewear lines grab a child's attention. Fisher-Price, Hush Puppies, Stride Rite, 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.
  3. Spring hinges, strong and flexible frame materials, and impact-resistant polycarbonate or Trivex lenses all help protect your child's eyes — as well as your financial investment in his or her eyewear.
  4. Don't forget about protecting your child's eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays. Preventing overexposure to UV light starting in childhood may lower the risk of adult eye problems like macular degeneration later in life. Photochromic lenses made of impact-resistant polycarbonate block 100 percent UV, darken automatically in sunlight and are an excellent choice for kids who spend a lot of time outdoors.
  5. For the child who is fast becoming a teenager, eyewear fashion is increasingly important. 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, Nine West and Banana Republic.

Start shopping

The first step in getting your child new glasses is to schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor near you. With an updated eyeglass prescription, you're ready to shop!

Page updated June 2019