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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Does anyone have a young child in glasses?

(32 Posts)
Catsu Fri 16-Nov-12 19:47:18

Dd is 14 months old and have found out yesterday that her vision is v poor snd she needs glasses.
Have appt tomorrow at specsavers to get info and look at their glasses.

Any advice on what questions to ask? What to look for in frames? How to get her to wear them???

Catsu Sat 17-Nov-12 08:02:23


Vickibee Sat 17-Nov-12 08:13:54

My Ds has worn glasses since two, he has taken to wearing them very well.choose a robust pair with flexibility in the arms. IME metal frames are better cos plastic ones are Rigid and tend to break when they fall over. Adjustable nose pins too help especially if they have a small nose bridge

ThickCut Sat 17-Nov-12 08:14:13

My children don't wear specs, but I worked in an opticians for years. We did loads of specs for little ones. Most of them have curled round arms that loop round the ears so stay on and most children adapt really quickly to wearing them, hth

Mono1 Mon 19-Nov-12 00:13:44

Catsu can I ask how you knew to get your little one's eyes tested? As both DH and I have terrible eyesight we are sure it's inevitable for the DC but I'm not sure how we'll know.

chipmonkey Mon 19-Nov-12 00:49:18

I'm an optometrist.
Firstly, the dispensing optician should give you good advice on choosing frames. Round frames are better than square and they should sit up properly on the nose as they will do no good if the child is looking over them! Children''s frames should be designed for children rather than being scaled-down adult frames. Don't buy a frame that is not a 100% perfect fit. If there is nothing suitable, they should order frames in; if not go elsewhere. To be honest, having worked in both independent opticians and in multiples, I have generally found independent opticians better for children but of course that is only my experience and probably an over-generalisation.

Mono1, if there is a family history of eye problems, you should bring your child for a test at age 3, preferably an optometrist who has a special interest in children. If the eye turns in or out or if they close one eye in bright sunlight, they should be checked earlier.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 19-Nov-12 00:55:18

DD has been wearing glasses since she was 18 months and is now 9

she took to them really quickly, probably because they helped her see and I pressume she was getting headaches etc pre glasses as she was a much less grumpy child after she got them

I wouldn't pay for children's frames at that age (they are covered by an NHS voucher but many opticians also have more expensive frames for children as well as the free ones -very easy to be pursuaded to pay for more expensive ones) at your dd's age they will be sat on, thrown from the pram, put on teddy or the dog and chewed so cheap and cheerful

I prefer metal frames on little ones as they are more durable and also aren't necessarily the first thing you see when you look at the child IYKWIM

Ihatecobwebs Mon 19-Nov-12 01:10:35

DS has worn high prescription glasses since he was 2. At the eye hospital I was advised about what to get him. Basically, round lenses so he couldn't look round them and curly arms. I went to my local optician, second one I tried, as the first just said that the frames on show were what they had so I left.

Second one (an independent) was very helpful, ordered in some frames for us to try. They are very good at mending bent, damaged glasses, and have not charged me for anything yet.

DS was not too keen on wearing them at first, but I explained that he would not be able to do some things unless he did, eg watch television, and so he quickly learnt they were necessary. Did help that both I and DH wear glasses. Also, some friends' children wear glasses so I made a point of pointing them out (as he was the only one at pre-school who wore them and felt a bit "different" at first. Now he is 5, and they are a completely natural part of his life.

madwomanintheattic Mon 19-Nov-12 01:21:14

Definitely go for an independent - you are going to be spending a lot of time there and will need to build up a relationship with an individual! Get curl sides and a silicone nose bridge - if she isn't yet walking or is still at the falling over and tripping stage, you might want to try a neoprene band... But some kids don't get on with them.

Most important of all - get a voucher for a second pair from the eye hospital. It will be essential, as when they are repairing the first pair, she can wear the second, and by the time the first pair are repaired, she will have broken the second... It's a bit of a round robin. So make sure you buy identical ones, too, so that you can mix and match for repairs whilst they order in the truly knackered spares... Dd2's lovely indie had a wee box for all the spare parts so that he could try and keep one pair on the go... (Oh, and we had a brand new pair every year. They really don't last).

It will be fine!

madwomanintheattic Mon 19-Nov-12 01:22:49

<dd2 was v blonde and because she drooled for Britain she wore a bandana all the time. We used to get strangers in the street going 'hey, it's the milky bar kid!' > grin

She was v cute. I can't imagine her without her specs now.

MrsGrieves Mon 19-Nov-12 01:36:23

I thought ds had that one white eye in a photo thing at 6 months, which lead to an optometrist appt at the hospital, he was fine but diagnosed as long sighted. He got glasses at about 2 iirc, but tbh getting him to wear them was impossible, not sure if they were the wrong prescription or not as he basically refused to keep them on.

At his last appointment it was discovered he has a lazy eye, (he has just turned 3) and now has a patch, weirdly enough since the patch was introduced, he now happily wears both patch and glasses all day hmm.

Anyway yes he wears glasses, we just went to specsavers tbh, we could do with a second pair as he is always losing his. We seem to have quite frequent visits to the hospital tbh. Sometimes they say "oh we will see you on the 20th dec" for eg, then a random other appt will turn up for before then confused.

I don't have any tips for refuseniks, ds I reckon either just matured a bit, or suddenly realised the glasses help him see, gawd knows.

chipmonkey Mon 19-Nov-12 10:57:51

Refuseniks: Sadly mostly you just have to keep putting them back on!
This can be really difficult with some children with SN's who are hypersensitive and hate the feeling of anything at all on their heads. But usually the clearer, more comfortable vision wins through!

mycatlikestwiglets Mon 19-Nov-12 12:55:47

Mono1 you can take your DC for an eye test any time - I took DS when he was about 10mo as I was worried he might have inherited my squint. I was amazed at what the optician (I went to a small independent which specialises in childhood squints) was able to tell just from showing DS a few cards with different things printed on them.

chipmonkey Mon 19-Nov-12 13:27:26

I have tested a four month old. You don't get a whole lot of co-operation at that age but you can usually ascertain reasonably well, whether there is a problem.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Mon 19-Nov-12 13:40:32

My friend's DS started wearing them aged 14 months. He has completely flexible, impossible to break ones (no idea how!). They showed us just how bendy they are, you can even bend them back to front...

She was told to gradually work up to wearing them. So an hour in the morning, hour in the afternoon and so on, preferably over a week.

First day she gave them to him he refused to give them back grin

blanksquit Mon 19-Nov-12 18:41:54

Mine's worn glasses since age 2. We noticed that in photos her pupils weren't in the right places i.e. if one was in the middle of one eye, the other was at the side. We went via the GP (who couldn't see a problem) but referred us due to my dh having had a squint. We got an appointment at the hospital three months later - by which time it was a very obvious squint. She was diagnosed as being very long sighted.

We had hospital appointments firstly every three months then every six months for several years. She's recently been signed off (age 7).

Initially we paid for frames with double bending side arms and curly ears. Some independent opticians have more of a range than others. It took her years to get used to them. Just kept putting them back on. She wore them more once she started nursery and had nowhere to put them. She had phases of hiding them down the garden and in games boxes.

After a couple of years, we went with a well known high street chemist chain. Because some of the independent chains were charging to thin lenses and wanted an insurance payment for repairs. Whereas the chemist don't. The staff have known her five years now and are always very kind. They do all repairs free and don't charge us a penny for the frames and thinned lenses. We generally need repairs at least once a month - not just because my dd leaves them in odd places where people tread on them, but also because other dc have a tendency to pull them off and break them (especially at nursery age).


RuleBritannia Mon 19-Nov-12 18:51:46

Am I reading correctly that you have to pay for children's spectacles? I thought that, like sight tests, they were free. I know you have to give crutches back at the end of your need but you get them free, don't you? We get hearing aids free so why can't children have free spectacles. They are a necessity. Or is it that you don't like the NHS spectacles so choose to pay for private ones? <just being inquisitive>

sausagesandwich34 Mon 19-Nov-12 18:58:29

NHS vouchers cover the lenses and some frames

those frames are not brilliant!

chocolateistheenemy Mon 19-Nov-12 18:59:00

No, you don't pay. Yes there is always the option to upgrade or have lenses thinned but ime the free frames are all great, any adjustments are done free of charge, broken glasses are replaced etc. DS gets two pairs on NHS and prescription sunglasses! No complaints in the chocolate house...

sausagesandwich34 Mon 19-Nov-12 19:03:55

dd had the free ones up until being 7yo but the last couple of times they had been very meh!

LoosingBattle Mon 19-Nov-12 19:06:22

DD has worn glasses since she was 15 months, she is now nearly 3. We ave never had any bother with keeping them on and couldn't imagine her without them now.

Yesterday DD broke her glasses and her spare pair were at my mums. We went into the opticians this morning and got them mended. When she put them on for the first time since yesterday she announced in this amazed voice - "I can see!" I was just about in tears thinking of when she didn't have glasses that she couldn't see but was too young to tell us. sad

BigFatSpider Mon 19-Nov-12 19:28:23

DS had his first pair at 4.4 - probably could've done with them considerably earlier, but his poor sight was only picked up at a 'getting ready for Reception' test that the health visitor recommended before he went into the school system. He's very long-sighted (+7.5 in right eye, +5.5 in left) and luckily took to his glasses really well. We use Specsavers and I find them brilliant - staff are great with children, good choice of frames, always happy to repair or re-fit on the spot, no charge for repairs or for thinning of his lenses. I hardly recognise him without his specs now!

blanksquit Mon 19-Nov-12 21:37:07

In reply to Rule: I paid for some extra bendy ones when mine was a toddler because she needed something sturdier than what was offered for free.

We do get free ones now she's older and some opticians will thin the lenses for free and others won't. If they've got a prescription of +7 like mine, the lenses do need thinning otherwise they're very thick and heavy.

Catsu Mon 19-Nov-12 21:50:28

Thanks so much for all the replies!
I only got her eyes tested as the health visitor at her 12 month check noticed a slight squint (I hadn't!) so we were referred to the hospital eye dept who said she is very long sighted. She is +7 in both eyes (although her glasses arev+3.5 as they didn't want to give her full strength straight away)
We went to a few opticians at the weekend and were most impressed with the local independent one. I'm going back with dd this week to get her fitted and measured. I think we will go for the metal frames with curly bits round the ears.
Those of you who paid for the bend anywhere frames. Where did you find those? None of the opticians I went into could get in anything like that...

cheekyginger Mon 19-Nov-12 22:01:00

Good luck Catsu,

Dont worry too much if they get broken. Your optician can put through a replacement voucher. They will be used to replacing children's glasses a lot!!

For anyone else out there that has a concern about their childs eyes. If they are under 3 go to your health visitor or GP and they can refer you onto an Orthoptist, who specialise in assessing childrens eyes. grin

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