My daughter, Eve, has worn glasses since she was three-years-old. While she’s pretty careful with them and we’ve never lost a pair, we have had our share of bust-ups. One thing my husband and I quickly agreed to when she first got her glasses was not to make a big deal out of it if she lost or broke a pair. Luckily there are a lot of glasses that don’t break (easily) you can find for kids. Here are some tips we’ve found along the way that your family might find useful.
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Tips to keep kids from losing their glasses
Accountability is big word, but the earlier kids learn it, the better off they’ll be. Managing little kids with glasses can be challenging. One of my friend‘s family mantras is: “If they ain’t on your face, put them in your case.”
They started charging their child $1 every time they found the glasses out of their case, but not on their daughter’s face. “She knows if she loses them, she’s responsible for paying for the replacement. Since implementing our mantra, we’ve been almost two years without losing, breaking or replacing,” says mom.
Sounds like tough love, but is it really? I don’t think so. Another option is going the case route.
How to find your glasses
It’s not easy for adults to find their glasses, so how to find your glasses if you’re a wee thing can be tough. If you’ve got a daughter with glasses, I suspect you’ll have an easier time of keeping track of eye glasses. That’s because many little girls are into dressing up and nothing says, “I’m growing up”, quite like accessorizing.
Two friends recommended I buy sunglass cases for my daughter. My friend Maria’s daughter was given a ton of cases when she got her first pair of glasses at five years-old. “They were super cute, all very girly with either ponies, rainbows or flowers on them. She loves to put her glasses in them and we’ve never had an issue with her losing them,” Maria says.
Stores like The Children’s Place and Claire’s sell adorable sunglass cases, some with handles, some without. These accessories are so much better than a purse any old gal can carry, don’t you think? You can also find some of these accessories at a Doctor of Optometry’s clinic.
How kids can avoid breaking their glasses
Yep, we’ve certainly mangled a few pair of glasses. Each incident was during some sort of physical activity (though a Dad I know once sat on his kid’s glasses!). Echoing my friend’s mantra: If they ain’t on your face, they’re in the case, kids need to learn to take off their glasses if they’re in a precarious situation.
What constitutes as such? Gymnastics and trampolining immediately come to mind. Any time an object could come flying at your face (dodgeball) or something could fly off your face (during jumps, flips, etc….) glasses should be put aside. Birthday parties seem to be the worst, so we always make sure to give the host a head’s up, asking them to remind Eve to put her glasses away during the rambunctious activity. You can also buy prescription sports wear glasses for your child if they need corrective lenses while they play.
Little kids with glasses
What’s cool is that in Alberta we have this Eye See…Eye Learn® program that provides kindergarten aged children with a complimentary pair of glasses if needed. With the school year quickly coming to an end, kindergarten parents will want to make an appointment with their optometrist quickly before their children are no longer eligible. Don’t have an optometrist? Click here for a listing of these doctors in Alberta.
If your child is just starting Kindergarten this September, you’ll probably be sent home a letter explaining this program in the fall. But here’s the thing, there’s no need to wait. You can take your child in and qualify for the program in the summer before they start kindergarten and until they’re enrolled in grade one, you can utilize this program. Current kindergarteners have until the end of summer to take advantage of Eye See…Eye Learn®.
Perhaps this was a bit cheeky, but even though Eve already had glasses, we still took advantage of Eye See…Eye Learn®. Eve’s prescription had changed slightly at one check-up, though not enough to warrant purchasing her a new pair of glasses. Her optometrist plugged the update into the computer in case we needed a new pair before her next annual appointment. As soon as she hit Kindergarten, we ordered her a second pair under Eye See Eye Learn®, even though she didn’t really need them. I’m so glad we did, because a few months later, guess who busted her glasses? We simply pulled out the reserve pair and saved ourselves some cash.
Free eye exams in Alberta
I bet you didn’t know annual eye exams are free in Alberta until children turn 19-years-old. Even if you’ve got an older brood, it’s worth getting their eyes examined every year once they start school. If you have younger kids, it’s recommended they have their first optometry check-up at six months of age; their second, between two and five years; and annually after they turn six.
My friend Maria followed this formula and surprise surprise, though everything was fine their first few appointments, her daughter became nearsighted at age five. You just never know what can change. I can’t tell you how relieved Maria is they caught this before starting school.
Do you have a child who wears glasses? What are your tips so they’re not easily lost or broken?
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Thank you to the Alberta Association of Optometrists for helping me tell our story. As always, my opinions are my own.