Have you ever struggled to persuade your child to wear glasses? You are not alone as many parents try every trick they can find to get their child to wear glasses each day, noted Troy Bedhinghaus, OD, of Very Well Health, a health information website. Most children consider glasses a hindrance or they feel different from their classmates and friends.
However, do remember that undetected vision problems can jeopardize your child’s performance inside and outside of the classroom, reminded Megan Elizabeth Collins, M.D. of Johns Hopkins Medicine, an institution in Baltimore, Maryland. Hence, it’s important for you to recognize that your child may have a vision problem or they may need glasses.
Parents and Children’s Views and Attitudes Regarding Vision Correction
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc., a company dedicated to creating life-long solutions to vision care needs, found that 90% of parents believed that correcting their child’s vision will help improve their academic performance and reading performance (89%). 83% believed vision correction will help improve their child’s confidence and self-esteem (81%).
70% of parents agreed that correcting their child’s vision problems can aid in sports performance. 30% believed their child is restricted from playing sports or performing in sports to the best of their ability when wearing glasses. Parents of boys (39%) were more likely than parents of girls (34%) to agree with the aforementioned statement.
When asked which vision correction to wear, 76% of parents said contact lenses are a better choice than glasses for physical activities and improving their child’s self-esteem/confidence (52%). 58% of kids believed that contact lenses are better for doing physical activities such as sports, followed by going to prom/school dance/parties (55%), going out with friends (including dates) (49%), and looking their best (47%).
Survey Emphasizes the Need for Myopia Education (2019)
The Harris Poll results released by CooperVision found that 33% of parents know what myopia means or how it can affect their child’s future eyesight, cited Eyewire, a news ophthalmic news website. In fact, parents said they know more about other childhood conditions including the flu (93%), ear infections (86%), and lice (80%) in comparison with their knowledge of myopia (65%).
81% of ECPs agreed that myopia is one of the biggest problems affecting children’s eyesight today unlike 72% of parents. 56% of ECPs agreed that myopia, if left untreated, increases the risk of irreversible vision loss later in life.
73% of parents strongly/somewhat agree that teachers were more likely to notice that their kids have vision problems, while 68% of those who strongly/somewhat agree that school nurses often detect potential vision problems among kids before parents. 22% of parents reported a key reason prompting an ECP visit is an in-school eye screening, while 92% of ECPs cited this as a reason for parents seeing them for their child’s vision.
84% of ECPs agreed that parents need to understand the younger the child is diagnosed with myopia, the more urgent it is to address this vision problem. The same number of ECPs wished parents consulted them sooner about their child’s vision. 71% of ECPs said it was absolutely essential/very important to slow the progression myopia among kids aged eight to 15 years. 87% said they would be interested in using contact lenses for kids aged eight to 15 years with myopia in the future.
What Do I Need to Consider If I Think My Child Needs to Wear Glasses?
Squinting may be a red flag of a refractive error that affects how well your child’s eyes focus on an image. By squinting, the clarity and focus of an object improve. If you see your child cover one eye or tilt their head to adjust their angle of vision to improve clarity, it may because their eyes are misaligned or they have lazy eye (amblyopia).
Another sign of poor vision is sitting too close to the TV or holding devices close to their eyes. People who have myopia or nearsightedness can clearly see objects up, but these become blurry at a distance. You need to observe if your child is having difficulty concentrating on school work. This is because kids need to quickly or accurately adapt their vision focus on various objects in the classroom near or far.
What Do I Need to Do When Going “Frame Shopping?”
It is strongly recommended to let your child pick out their own glasses to instill a sense of ownership. Most kids enjoy choosing things by themselves, so let them try on as many frames as they want. Opticians can guide your child in the right direction, depending on their facial shape and features. Help your little one narrow their choices and from there, let them choose their favorite frame.
Once your child’s glasses are ready, pick them up but don’t expect them to be eager to wear it every day at first. It is best to start slowly with short increments and gradually increase the time once your child becomes more comfortable. Encourage your child to wear their new glasses and praise them once they do. Sooner or later, you will see your child wearing their new glasses every day. The more your child wears their glasses, the more it will become a part of their daily life.
Teach your little one to take care of their glasses. Show them how to use a cleaning solution made to clean eyeglasses and a microfiber cloth to wipe the lenses. Remind your child that their glasses are fragile and must be handled with care. Tell your child to store their glasses in a hard case to prevent scratches or breakage.
What If My Child Refuses to Wear Glasses?
Convincing your child to wear glasses is another story. Ensure that their glasses fit properly and if it doesn’t, your child will most likely not wear it. If their glasses are too loose, they might slip off and become too annoying to wear. Also, the glasses might hurt their head or ears if it is too tight. If your child does not want to wear glasses, consider consulting an optician to check the fit.
Your child may feel self-conscious because they don’t want to stand out in the crowd. It is recommended to speak with their teacher about how your child can deal with it and to be wary of negative comments.
Teach your child how to remove and store their glasses properly. Glasses are costly so remind your child to take care of it. If they refuse to wear their glasses, find out if it is too tight or too loose and consult your optician for any adjustments.