The Goldilocks EffectFitting Kids’ Frames When fitting children for their first pair of spectacles, you need to take a lead from Goldilocks, and not settle for anything less than ‘just right’. WRITER Michelle Hauschild When it comes to fitting children, the first pair of glasses is always the most challenging. Many eye care professionals report that children with myopia are often delighted by receiving spectacles for the first time. However, hyperopic and astigmatic children may take some time to adjust. If that first pair of glasses isn’t comfortable, they may not wear them or may ‘accidentally’ lose or even break them. If they do wear illfitting glasses that slide down their nose, they may end up peering over the rim or looking through the lens in an incorrect position, therefore receiving no real correction benefit. There’s a lot at stake. Whether they require just a simple correction or have special needs, the wrong prescription or an “off ” fitting can cause further complications for a child who is still developing, visually and socially. And of course, the impact on a child’s learning and academic development can’t be underestimated. The right spectacles will help promote better hand-eye coordination, improve reading comprehension, improve symptoms of eye strain and just help a child to see better. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into our annual review of top tips for fitting your littlest patients. THINK LIKE GOLDILOCKS We all know that children aren’t just miniature adults. Adults can get away with oversized glasses and thick frames; children can’t. The right frame fit will ensure the glasses provide the correction you intended. So, as you go through each aspect of the fitting, aim for not too big, not too small… but ‘just right’. The Correct Size If the frame is too wide across the eyes, it will look oversized and will likely end up sliding down. Too narrow and the temples will press into the side of their head, making the child feel uncomfortable. The perfectly fitting pair of glasses will look great now but also provide some room for growth. You’ll need access to a wide range of sizes, rather than a simple ‘small, medium, large’ selection. Temples Temples are crucial to helping glasses stay secure. They need to be long enough to fit around the ears and hold the frame in position… but not too long or they’ll irritate your patient along the curvature of the ear. “ Once you’ve assessed the patient’s visual and lifestyle needs, and taken their facial measurements, then bring out the superheroinspired frames that will catch their imagination Bridge Size The big one. If the nose bridge fits incorrectly, those glasses will slide to the nasal bulb. A lot of young children haven’t developed a sturdy nose bridge so the bridge size – once again – needs to be just right. Bridges need to be designed with a wider splay or pads that are lower set and have more adjustability, so they sit appropriately. A keyhole bridge can offer a good grip to prevent the frame from slipping.Frame Depth You’ll need to find a frame that’s not too shallow and not too deep. Too shallow and you’ll limit the lens area, too deep and the frames may sit on the patient’s cheeks. REFINING THEIR CHOICESOf course, all these variables mean that if you’re fitting child patients regularly, you’ll need to have access to a wide selection of frames. That, too, brings its own issues. Children – and often their parents – may fall in love with a frame based on the colour, a feature, or a favoured brand that ties in with a loved toy. One option, used by many practices specialising in children’s vision, is limiting the number of frames on display. Of course, you need to have a window display that signals you cater for children. But think of narrowing the selection of frames they can actually try on. Once you’ve assessed the patient’s visual and lifestyle needs, and taken their facial measurements, then bring out the superhero-inspired frames that will catch their imagination. This avoids disappointment that may negatively impact the child’s first experience of their glasses. ADDRESSING THE PATIENTThroughout the fitting process, try to communicate with your young patient directly, in an age-appropriate manner. If they’re of an age to express an opinion about what they “ If you can’t find frames that fit a child correctly, don’t be tempted to send them off with the next best thing want – and don’t want – take the time to listen. If a child is reluctant to wear glasses, ask openended questions to find out why. Don’t assume that children will know what to do with their glasses. Explain, in simple terms, why they need glasses, when they should wear them, and how they can look after them. “Glasses stay on your face or go in your case” is always a good line. Speak to them about not placing them face down on a surface and about how to clean them with a lens cloth. Involving the child in the discussion may help the transition to wearing spectacles and help them take ownership. AND IF IT IS NOT ‘JUST RIGHT’?If you can’t find frames that fit a child correctly, don’t be tempted to send them off with the next best thing. Take the time to educate your patient’s parent or carer about why the correct fit is so important. That way, if you need to get a few slightly different size frames in stock, they’ll understand the benefit of waiting. After all, spending money on glasses that don’t have the desired impact is just a waste. While finding that first pair of glasses may be challenging, it can also be fun – we are fortunate to have so much variety ito choose from. Take a look at some of the new offerings for inspiration. Frames that Fit… Just Right Rock Star RIGHT Filled with energy, Rock Star delivers the latest mini-celeb looks while inspiring individual style and self-confidence. This bright and young range pops with personality through fashion-forward design and fun pattern and colour fusions. The 2022 collection also features models made from recycled ocean plastics. Contact: Aaron’s Eyewear (AUS) 07 3367 8447 Nano Vista LEFT Nano Vista glasses are indestructible – they can be stretched and twisted without breaking – and they’re hypoallergenic and ultralight. They can also be adapted to the facial morphology of children and, thanks to their updated design components, have very soft and curved shapes that further enhance their resistance and comfort. Contact: Aviva & Mann (AUS) 1300 850 882 INVU for Kids RIGHT The new INVU Kids Collection offers the best of both worlds at an affordable price. Bright, translucent colour treatments take care of the fun side, while soft thermoplastic material makes the sunglasses flexible and comfortable to wear. For parents, the legendary shatter resistant, ultra-polarised lens by Swiss Eyewear Group offers 100% UV protection from UV-A, B and C rays, giving total peace of mind. Visit: www.invueyewear.com Spinach LEFT Frames Etcetera offers two children’s collections – Spinach and Spinach Boost. Both ranges include a variety of colourful, affordable, and highly wearable plastic and metal models for young children and teenagers. Contact: Frames Etcetera (AUS) 08 9248 1882 Milo & Me RIGHT Milo & Me make cool frames kids love wearing, at a parent-friendly price. There are over 24 vibrant colours to choose from and all frames are made from durable nylon and TPE construction to withstand a kid’s energetic world. Contact: Hilco Vision Australia (AUS) 1800 217 651 or (NZ) 0800 522 151 JuzVision BELOW Kids eyewear is all about providing comfort and durability at reasonable prices. JuzVision eyewear is designed in the United Kingdom and suitable for all face shapes. The collection provides a wide range of colours, styles and can be upgraded to 180 spring sides. Contact: admin@juzvion.com Opticare ABOVE Comfort and affordability are the top considerations when choosing frames for young and active patients. Opticare champions the durability of the products in its Instyle Kids collections, which present different frame options specifically designed for children. Contact: Opticare (AUS) 1800 251 852 or info@opticare.com.au Lookkino NIL Kids Series 3880 RIGHT Super lightweight and soft to the touch, the new Lookkino NIL Kids series 3880 is designed specifically for kids four years and up. By combining two 100% non-toxic and hypoallergenic materials – NIL (Natural Injection Light) and a state-of-the-art technopolymer – NIL KIDS eyewear provides quality and safety. The new styles also adapt to smaller faces, based on designs meant to improve kids’ lives from the time they’re infants. Each style is developed in collaboration with ophthalmologists, specialists, and parents. Visit: villaeyewear.com augie BELOW augie’s classically cool eyewear helps kids shine in glasses they love. Each frame gives kids a positive experience in their eyewear, which keeps them and their parents smiling. From pink glitters to subtle greys, there is something for every personality. Available in two sizes, for kids aged four and up. Visit: augieeyewear.com.au Police RIGHT Introducing Police Junior collection VK121, specifically designed for eight to 12-year-olds. Police Junior provides ultra-light and excellent resistance thanks to ULTEM resin injection and the touch of bright tones on the logo, nose pads and temple tips, which bring style and functional benefit for every child. Contact: De Rigo (AUS) 02 9428 1500 Barbie LEFT Barbie has long inspired children to be what they want to be, and encouraged imagination, self-expression and discovery. The newest addition to the Little4Eyes range featuring fashionable crystals and colours, Barbie will be a hit alongside Barbie Dreamhouse’s 60-year anniversary and the upcoming movie starring Aussie superstar, Margot Robbie. Contact: Little4Eyes (AUS) 03 8352 9996 ElevenParis RIGHT ElevenParis means effortlessly cool and classically timeless. With fashion-forward values at its core, on-trend, grown-up looks are matched with exclusive materials, comfortable, childfriendly fit and OBE-Unoflex repairable spring hinges for added durability. Sizes are suitable for young children up to tweens and teenagers. Contact: Little4Eyes (AUS) 03 8352 9996 Guess Kids Eyewear RIGHT These girl’s eyeglasses are a playful and feminine mini-me version of the popular Guess women’s eyewear model. Featuring a round acetate front with keyhole bridge design and acetate temples with the raised G logo, Model GU9214_074 boasts a girly gradient front in various colourways, including crystal grey-pink-peach gradient, berry-beige gradient, and pink-purple-lilac gradient versions. Contact: Marcolin (AUS) 02 8456 0946 Lacoste LEFT The Lacoste Tweens segment comes with a new edition of the Colour Block. Bold, urban shapes feature playful and lively colour touches on temples and temple tips. Limited colours, when absorbing daylight, shine bright, and even glow in the dark at night. Contact: Marchon Eyewear (AUS) 1800 251 025 Ugly Fish RIGHT Aussie brand Ugly Fish Eyewear prides itself on supplying optical and sunglass frames that look cool, while still maintaining maximum form and function. With frames suited to active babies, kids and tweens, the range offers flexible temples, light weight frames and matching ear locks, all at an exceptional price. Contact: Piranha Eyewear (AUS) 02 4284 7888 Beamers BELOW Bright light is protective for myopia, but the UV radiation is damaging – we need to reduce myopia and reduce UV related eye diseases. All Beamers sunglasses have unique Optoshield technology with polarised UV400 lenses for best-in-class protection against UV radiation and glare. Beamers’ Bird and Mini-Bird collections are ideal for children up to eight years. Made from a flexible soft and durable material, they are available in a range of appealing colours. Beamers are scriptable and available from leading optometrists, through Vision Australia Stores and Glaucoma Australia. Visit: beamers.com.au
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