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Children's eyes should be regularly examined right from a very early stage.

ZEISS for kids

Make choosing a spectacle frame a game for your child.

ZEISS for kids

Children's eyes are precious and need extra-special protection.

ZEISS for kids

It is important that you select an optician who can relate to children and win their confidence.

ZEISS for kids

Plastic lenses and lightweight frames are the products of choice for kids.

ZEISS for kids

Holidays or playing in the garden: sun cream, sunglasses and some form of head covering are absolute musts.

ZEISS for kids

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Spectacles for children: Taking children to the optician

A few tips for children's eyes and children's glasses

Are our eyes our most important sense organ? Even more important than our skin, nose, ears and tongue? That's a difficult question to answer. However, one thing is for sure: if we – and children in particular – have a visual impairment, our orientation and enjoyment of life suffers as a result. And this is particularly the case in a world that is now dominated by visual impressions. Therefore, we parents should devote special attention to the eyes of our children and to their visual development. BETTER VISION has prepared a few tips about children’s eyes and children’s glasses to help you deal with this complex and important issue.

Safety for children’s eyes

Our eyes are precious and sensitive, and they therefore need special protection – and children’s eyes even more so.

  • Do not expose your child's eyes to any unnecessary risks. Ensure your child always wears protective goggles when doing any activities where dust, splinters, shavings or droplets of liquid are produced, e.g. in handicraft work. Concentrated jets of liquid can also pose a danger. A pair of sunglasses can help prevent a jet of water from a water pistol from reaching the eye.
  • Protect your child's eyes with a good pair of sunglasses that offer 100% protection against harmful UV-A and UV-B radiation. It is extremely important that children’s eyes are shielded from the sun, otherwise reddening, itch or even inflammation may result.
  • Avoid exposing your child to caustic or aggressive substances, e.g. acids and leaches, or when mixing or applying glues and adhesives or coating materials.
  • Shield your child's eyes against glare or harmful radiation – during welding work for instance, or when working with a laser. These can lead to lasting damage to your child's eyes.
  • Just like protective headgear, sports spectacles can protect your child's eyes against injury and irritation during sporting activities such as cycling, swimming or skiing.

Good for children's eyes

  • Fresh air is good not only for the general health of your child, but also for his or her eyes. Playing outdoors is an excellent means of relaxation for their eyes in order to compensate for the long periods of reading at short distances encountered in modern life, e.g. when studying for school, painting or playing with dad's smartphone! Scientific studies suggest that children who are exposed regularly to longer viewing distances suffer less frequently from eye irritation.
  • A suitable pair of children's sunglasses relax and protect their eyes, even in the first rays of warm sunshine in the springtime.
  • Even if your child has no obvious problems with his or her vision, experts advise that children should have their first thorough eye examination before the age of three at the latest. The second examination should be conducted before they start school and then every two years afterwards to enable early detection of any initial warning signals of any deterioration in their vision. For all premature babies and all children whose parents or siblings suffer from a squint or a severe visual impairment, an eye examination should be performed between the age of six and twelve months, and then at regular intervals afterwards.

6 tips from the optician for children's spectacles

BETTER VISION asked Hendrik Gausepohl, a German optician (Seiler Optik, Oberkochen/Germany), to provide us with his six most important tips for children's spectacles.

  1. Start by selecting a frame that fits the anatomy of your child's face. The frame should not be too big to ensure that the lenses can be optimally centred.
  2. Always choose plastic lenses, as they offer the most safety and protection during play.
  3. Spectacle frames that can be flexibly adapted to each child's face are the perfect choice: soft, adjustable bridge components – ideally made of silicone – and flexibly adjustable sides are the best options.
  4. Invest in a protective hard coating to ensure maximum durability. An anti-reflective coating is highly recommended for children at school. Reflections from classroom lights can severely impair vision and distract your child's attention accordingly.
  5. Motivate your child to wear spectacles – and to enjoy wearing them. Actively involve him or her when selecting the right frame. And be tolerant if they select a colour that does not exactly correspond to your own personal taste! Here in my practice we make the eye examination as enjoyable and playful for the child as possible. The dolls and puppets we use in our work are very well received by the kids.
  6. Children need UV light for the development of their eyes, but in the mountains, snow or at the seaside they must definitely wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection as the reflections increase the amount of light reaching their eyes.

How to recognize poor vision in your child - Make checking your child's eyesight into a game they enjoy.

Optician Hendrik Gausepohl recommends keeping a watchful eye on children's visual progress. If you notice any sighs of squinting, twitching or greying of the pupil, you should consult your optician immediately. The same applies if eye disease or poor sight runs in the family. Another warning signal is if babies do not try to establish eye contact with someone talking to them.

The lenses of infants' eyes are still very soft and can accommodate very effectively, i.e. they can adapt to various distances without difficulty. If one eye is not performing as well as the other, parents sometimes do not notice that the 'good' eye is in fact compensating for the 'bad' one. It is therefore recommended to have your child's eyes tested at an early age – ideally at the age of three.

A visit to the optician is an absolute must before a child starts school. An eye examination at the age of 14 is essential in order to detect any changes in an adolescent's eyes, and short-sightedness in particular. The next examination is then normally conducted when a young adult is applying for his or her first driving licence.

Better vision: from toddler to teenager

Would you like to know how children’s eyes evolve? Or what aspects are important for children’s spectacles? Find out more here.

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