Children’s glasses and Sunglasses

Children's glasses and sunglassesHealthy eyes and good vision play a critical role in how infants and children learn to see. Eye and vision problems in infants can cause developmental delays. It is important to detect any problems early to ensure children have the opportunity to develop the visual abilities they need to grow and learn.

Seek professional eye care for your child starting with the first visit to Samantha Parker Optometrist at about 3 years of age.

The choice of lenses for your child will depend on their prescription, we will advise you on what is most suitable and discuss the different options that are available.

In particular you may want to consider:

  • Polycarbonate lenses. These are virtually shatter proof  providing your child with the ultimate protection and you with the assurance that your child’s eyes are safe at all times, from any accidental damage. They also include 100% UV protection and are 30% lighter and 20% thinner than standard plastic lenses.
  • A Hard coat or Anti Reflection Coating to provide extra protection against scratching and comfort from glare.

Our Services include:

  • Large variety of frames in all sizes.
  • Separate toddler and teen ranges.
  • Outside prescriptions both Private and NHS are welcome.
  • Professional advice on frame and lens selection.
  • Warranty on certain lenses and frames.
  • Frame and facial measurements taken to ensure optimum fit and vision.
  • Adjustments following purchase at no extra charge.
  • Sports and Protective eyewear


Children’s Sunglasses

Do children need to wear sunglasses just like adults?

Children’s eyes are in fact at greater risk than adults in the sun especially fair children with pale blue eyes because the UV filtering mechanism within the young human lens is not yet fully developed. Hence, they are ultra sensitive to UV and blue light. So by the age of 18, children would have already been exposed to more than half of their total lifetime exposure.

What sort of eye damage can be caused by UV light?

The damage starts early and is cumulative leading to increased risks of eyelid cancer, cataract and macular degeneration in later life.

How do I choose the right pair of sunglasses for my child?

Every parent knows that persuading a child to wear sunglasses can be tricky especially if they are very young. So make sure the fit, design and protection is there.  The style needs to suit the child’s activity but also be robust enough and suit their personality so it remains worn.

How do I ensure I get a good fitting frame?

Generally, the frame has to sit comfortably on the nose bridge without touching the cheeks and the tips of the arms need to curl over to rest behind the ears. This is essential to distribute the weight of the frame evenly across the face to prevent pressure sores and the sunglasses from sliding off.

How can I tell the quality of a pair of sunglasses?

The second consideration is the quality of the lens to ensure adequate eye protection and maintenance of good visual development. Lenses need to be at least 99% UV protective as well as provide high optical clarity. Beware that whilst some sunglasses claim to provide 100% UV protection, their lenses may not be true lenses, instead are cheap pieces of plastic coated in a UV film. Good optical clarity in a true lens is essential for seeing clear images and hence visual development. One way to test this is to hold the frame at arms length and fixate on a straight line in the distance whilst you move the lens from side to side. There will be minimal distortion with good quality lenses.

What is the difference between a budget and true lens sunglass?

Cheaper budget sunglasses should be avoided for 2 main reasons: substandard UV protection and poor quality lenses. Firstly, if they offer no UV protection, they will do more harm than good. The dark sunglass lens will cause the child’s pupil to dilate thus allowing more UV light into the eye than blocking it. Secondly, the lenses may not be true optical lenses, but pieces of plastic which have simply been UV coated.   There is a big difference since images and colours are not true and crystal clear which is vital for a child’s developing vision.

There are many different types of UV labels attached to sunglass lenses or swing tags. Which ones should you look out for and what do they mean?

All sunglasses imported into the UK and sold in reputable high street stores should have the British and European safety standard label BS EN 1836:2005/2007. They should block up to 99.99% of harmful UV light. UV400 is another optical industry standard which is an indication of maximum or 100% UV protection as the lens blocks all UV light up to 400nm which includes UVA, UVB and UVC.