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Learning to look after their glasses

(17 Posts)
paperdiary4ever Fri 14-Feb-14 10:45:41

My DS (7) started wearing glasses in November. He needed a new pair over Christmas because he lost the first pair in the park. Now he has broken the second pair .... they snapped in half when he was running round the playground with them in his hand and fell over. The optician isn't amused, and, with my consent, is going to give him a bit of a talking to when we got to pick up the replacements.

The problem is he won't keep them on. He takes them off and fiddles with them when he's distracted - twirls them in his fingers, chews the end, etc etc. They were in pretty bad condition even before they snapped.

Of course I explain to him why it's important for him to wear them all the time, and look after them, and if he takes them off I tell him to put them back on again. However, I can't hover over him at school, or expect the teacher to hover over him.

He's only slightly long sited, so really only needs them for reading. However the optician said that if he wears them all the time he might be young enough for his eyesight to 'adjust' meaning he won't need them at all in the future.

I suspect we might get through a few more pairs before we resolve this. The optician replaces them for free under the Government voucher scheme. However, does anyone know if that fully covers their costs? i.e. How bad do I need to feel about it?

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 14-Feb-14 12:07:35

you may find that they have replaced them this time but won't do next time. My daughter has coloured lenses and a 0.5 prescription and because it is such a low prescription they wouldn't give us an NHS certificate for it because you don't HAVE to have glasses if you only have a 0.5 prescription so when she broke hers in a playground incident we had to pay for them (as well as having had to buy them in the first place)

IMO (and yes I am a harsh cruel parent who wore glasses as a child) I would say that at the age of 7 he is old enough to understand the consequences of messing around with them and breaking or losing them. I would PERSONALLY probably be cruel enough to ask the optician to tell him that if he breaks them again in anything other than an actual accident like he fell over or they got knocked off his head then he has to pay something towards them from his pocket money. I bet he will stop messing around with them pretty quickly. An accident is an accident and he is only a child but if he is adding to the likelihood of them being broken or damaged then he needs to learn not to do that.

redskyatnight Fri 14-Feb-14 12:24:48

Can you get him a string that attaches to the glasses and goes round his neck (sorry can't think what they are called?) DS was always fiddling with his glasses when he was younger, and at least having the string meant that they didn't go far if he lost hold of them and he is limited in what he can do with them if he takes them off iyswim.

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 14-Feb-14 12:33:01

or you can get bendy frames which can pretty much be sat on, dropped, fiddled with and don't break as easily. not sure the optician will pay for those though.

allmycats Fri 14-Feb-14 12:34:21

I work in an opticians and can tell you that your DS behaviour is normal
for a young boy (girls don't seem to be quite so bad) and it is a regular
occurence with boys between the age of say 5-12 that they can get through 3 or 4 pairs a year. The optician CAN issue a repair voucher, and if they don't then they are being petty and you need to change opticians.
Also, you cannot be refused a repair voucher (or an initial voucher) because your RX is 0.5, if there is ANY RX at all then you can have a voucher. With the tinted lenses are they the cerium lenses for dyslexia or are they just a basic tint. With a basic tint you get the voucher with a tint addition - but with the cerium lenses being so expensive this voucher will only go towards part of the cost of the lenses and will not cover the full price. You need to be asking your optom. what you are paying for

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 14-Feb-14 12:41:51

thats interesting. thank you. the tints are the colorimetry ones. the prescription came from our usual optician who said he wouldn't give a 5 yr old glasses with that level of long sightedness so he didn't want to sign the form for the vision therapy place who organised her coloured glasses. As they didn't do her sight test they couldn't do it themselves. So we ended up paying the whole thing. lenses, frames, tints the lot.

allmycats Fri 14-Feb-14 12:46:56

you need to change your optician - if there is any RX there is entitlement to a voucher, can you change to an optician who also carries out the colourimetry within their practice, you may need to telephone CERIUM (who make the lenses) on 01580-765211 and they can tell you if there is someone near you (where I work is south yorks.north notts border)

Nocomet Fri 14-Feb-14 12:56:47

I think the problem lies in the prescription, if they don't make much difference to anything except reading, you are going to have an uphill struggle getting him to keep them on.

DD2 was forever loosing her second pair, that I suspect, weren't strong enough. She hasn't lost either of the last two pairs because they clearly make the world sharper.

All I can suggest is letting him choose frames he really likes, even if they are over the free voucher price and encouraging him to have the extra bendy frames or at least sprung hinges.

These cost money, but they stay in shape. I've worn glasses since I was a child and I don't notice them until they start sliding down my nose. My present ones have sprung hinges and they are great.

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 14-Feb-14 13:13:27

the vision therapy place do have an optician, it was just she had only just seen our one who we are very happy with generally. I think he was worried that if he signed the form for it then he could be investigated for adding in a small prescription so someone didn't have to pay full price for the coloured glasses. I could see his point to be honest because if it wasn't for her issues with contrast then she wouldn't have had the glasses even for the small prescription so it is a bit in the middle really. thanks for the info and numbers.

paperdiary4ever Sat 15-Feb-14 10:12:05

Thanks everyone. Especially the person who reassured me he's not the only one smile

AuditAngel Sat 15-Feb-14 10:20:58

DD1 had an eye test last June and they determined that she has weak muscles in one eye. They have given her a 0.5 prescription as it will help the weaker eye.

She left her first pair of glasses on the bathroom floor, her brother found them, unfortunately it was by standing on them confused the optician is amazed at how such a petite 9 year old could do so much damage, including breaking the lens in 2 in his bare feet!

AuditAngel Sat 15-Feb-14 10:22:22

Incidentally we are still waiting for the hospital eye appointment. On casing them up they had never received the paperwork. We are now stuck in the middle waiting for an appointment that should have taken 3 months

Saracen Sat 15-Feb-14 10:31:03

My older daughter got through several pairs a year at that age and we needed constant repairs too. I think it is completely to be expected. Some children are more careful and less active: my younger daughter actually OUTGREW several pairs without having trashed or lost them, and rarely took them off; I was astonished after my experience with her big sister. It is rather hard on a child having to wear and keep track of glasses. As long as they make some sort of effort I think we have to be forgiving about their mistakes - otherwise they will hate the glasses even more.

I say if your optician is telling your child off for two mistakes, it would be better to change optician to a more sympathetic one.

By the way, a few years ago I happened upon a document online which I have since been unable to find again. It was NHS guidance to opticians on the repair and replacement of NHS glasses. Children are entitled to UNLIMITED free repairs (or free replacements if a repair is not possible). In the case of a child who damages/loses lots of glasses, the optician is supposed to offer the parent and child "advice" (LOL) on improving the situation, but still must continue to put things right, for free, regardless. In extreme cases - presumably when there is a medical issue causing the problem - opticians are directed to issue a spare pair of glasses free in order to prevent the child going without glasses on a regular basis while the other pair is being repaired or replaced.

The above also applies to adults who are eligible for NHS glasses vouchers and who have a medical condition which causes them to lose or damage glasses often.

Catsmamma Sat 15-Feb-14 10:42:47

The size of the prescription is not the relevant point, it is whether or not that prescription, would improve vision or be expected to resolve any visual difficulties. Also pretty sure that tints for vision therapy are not seen as essential under the NHS so that may be why a PP was not issued with an NHS voucher for the specs.

As far as repairs go, most children go through a phase of breaking or losing their specs, and if they were provided with help from the NHS then you should get the same for repairs. If you purchase frames out with the "free" ranges then you should also expect to contribute to the repairs.

I'd also say that at seven he is more than old enough to be told in no uncertain terms not to chew or twiddle the specs, but losing them and other breakages are par for the course.

bideyinn Sat 15-Feb-14 20:47:39

My son got his first glasses at 4. We were at the opticians for repairs at least once a week for a while and he has completely broken several pairs but now, at 8, it seems to have settled down. Our optician was wonderful and very kind and patient.

RevoltInParadise Sat 15-Feb-14 20:52:53

Our optician is lovely and we only paid for the frames for the first pair. Two repairs later and this time he has totally snapped the frame. So they replaced it free of charge and also gave us another free set so that he wouldn't have to wait for each repair to be done without glasses.

paperdiary4ever Sat 15-Feb-14 21:34:47

Well I took DS for his telling-off today, although the optician found it hard to keep a straight face ... my DS is a precocious little charmer with an answer for everything.

We've bought a sports-strap to try and keep them in place while he breaks the 'twirling' habit. And I've made it clear if it happens again he'll have to forfeit his pocket money.

Fingers crossed! .....

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