By Steven Indelicato

The importance of children’s eye health cannot be underestimated. As eye care professionals, we must promote this in our everyday practices. It is imperative to educate parents to provide their children with comprehensive eye examinations at an early age. As we know, this is vital for a child’s early development. Incorporating wall signage in eye care practices and promoting children’s eye health on social media platforms offer great ways to capture the attention of parents. This, in turn, will provide essential eye care for children of all ages.
The eye examination: If your practice does not provide exams for children, outside referrals are encouraged. Recommending local pediatric optometrists and ophthalmologists ensures the child will receive a comprehensive examination appropriate for their age. Outside referrals are always welcome and the optician should try to maintain a relationship with the outside doctor in case any issues arise with the prescription.
The frames: Children should be encouraged to have a say in which frame they select. After all, they will be the ones wearing them. It is important for the child to be included in this process, as this is certainly one of their first expressions of themselves. Sometimes parents try to micromanage the selection of their child’s frame. It is up to eye care professionals to gently intervene and provide the child with the most comfortable, stylish, and optically fit frames available. Additionally, straps are a necessity for very young children’s eyewear. This ensures that the frames stay on the child’s face safely and are positioned correctly. Spring hinges or hinge-less frames should also be recommended, as they are sturdy and durable.
The lenses: Impact resistant material is a must! One good recommendation for children is polycarbonate. Not only does this material provide safety for the child, but it also has 100% ultraviolet protection, is lightweight, and offers a thinner lens when compared to CR-39 material. Trivex lenses are another option. Trivex offers excellent visual clarity with less chromatic aberration, as well as impact resistance, light weight, and full UV protection. Anti-reflective coating is a great add-on to enhance the optical benefits for the child. This will reduce any glare and allow more light to enter the eye, enabling better vision. Lastly, eye care professionals should recommend a separate pair of eyeglasses just for the sun. In early development, children have larger pupils than adults, allowing more light to reach the retina, making sun protection critical.
Every eyecare practice should encourage and promote children’s eye health. Always encourage parents to have their children’s eyes examined. Detecting any visual problems early enhances proper visual and learning development. When selecting frames, eye care professionals should allow children to have fun picking the color and style of their new specs. This is a great opportunity for children to express themselves and will help them keep the frames on! 

Learn more about children’s vision with our CE, Check Your Eye Development IQ, at