Not just a question of shape and color. The frame of the glasses for children must be chosen carefully and following some rules to prevent the optical correction from being affected. The shape of the frame and its design, in fact, affect the correct centering of the lenses and the consequent visual improvement of the child.
How glasses are made
Each frame, both pediatric and adult, is made up of two parts: the front portion, which serves to contain the lenses, and the side temples which, resting on the ear cups, allow the front part to rest steadily on the nose. The front portion is characterized by the rings, in which the lenses are placed, and by the bridge that joins them, on which two plates are placed. Each ring must contain a groove for inserting the lens.
The shape of the face
The choice of a frame must take into account the facial features and characteristics of the person who wears it: only on an appropriate frame do the lenses fully exert their effect, guaranteeing not only comfort in use, but also the best quality of possible vision. “To be functional – explains Andrea Piantanida, Ophthalmologist Surgeon, at the Lariano Ophthalmology Center, Cernobbio-Como and member of the Scientific Committee of Salmoiraghi & Viganò Foundation – the frame must respect the development parameters of the child’s face. First of all, it is necessary to consider the dimensions of the base of the nasal pyramid, which is substantially flat in all newborns and which becomes more pronounced only with the passage of time, completing itself around 13 years of age, when the boys take on a face conformation similar to that of adults “.
The ‘fit’ of the glasses
It is important to choose the ‘size’ of the glasses well, which should never limit the field of vision too much. Precisely for this reason, the frame must be directly proportional to the child’s face, without exceeding in size. “The eyes – explains Piantanida – should be well centered inside the two lenses and the upper part of the latter should cover the two eyebrow arches just overcoming them, also in consideration of the fact that the child’s visual world is often from the bottom up. ‘tall”.
Bridge and temples: what is the right size
Correct centering is also achieved by means of the bridge that rests on the nose, unloading a large part of the weight of the frame on it. The low bridge (positioned in the middle of the front) and the lightness of the glasses contribute significantly to preventing the glasses from slipping on the nose. When trying on a frame it is also important to observe the temples which must not be too long, but their curvature must begin at the point where the upper part of the ear is outlined. “Frames with a bridge that is too small – continues the ophthalmologist – tighten the child’s nasal pyramid, spoiling its correct development, while temples that are too short press the front against the eyelashes, soiling the lenses much more frequently”.
Glasses for under 6s
From the first months of life up to the age of 5-6 it is advisable to always prescribe flexible frames, preferably in soft material so that they are not an obstacle in common daily practices nor can they cause damage in case of impact. “In this age group – emphasizes Piantanida – the prescription of oval model frames with a low bridge is a classic. The frame material should be hypoallergenic and gentle on the baby’s skin, as reactions that can occur on the skin are a reason to take off the glasses and not use them.
How to choose from 7 to 10 years
From the age of 7 to 10, you can turn to other materials, such as plastic, nylon or acetate. In this age group, the prescription of “low bridge” or “key bridge” frames, which fit correctly on the nose and wrap well the face of the child, is a classic. But this is also the age when the child begins to have his own tastes and to have his say in the choice of what he wears, including glasses. Can the parent indulge him? “It is right that aesthetics do its part, as it represents a good incentive to use eyewear”, said the specialist. “Therefore, the child can choose the type of frame that he perceives as his own and most suited to his way of being, as long as the choice is conscientiously guided by the advice of the optician and respects the dictates written on the recipe by the ophthalmologist who took it in. load”.
Whether it’s five-a-side football, basketball or tennis, most children and adolescents play a sport. How to reconcile movement with the use of glasses? You need safe frames, but also comfortable. “The unbreakable materials and soft polymers perform both tasks because they are free of metal parts and characterized by being one-piece. This last feature prevents the assembled parts, even in plastic, from causing traumas “. Very useful for the boy who plays sports is the use of an elastic band that allows you to keep the frame itself well centered. Another advantage of the soft polymer sports frame is that they can be used in the most diverse situations: from recreational and marine sports to winter sports such as skiing or hockey on ice. These frames, in fact, can be worn comfortably even under a sports helmet. On the other hand, wraparound mask frames are not recommended because they could cause safety problems. “In most cases – explains Piantanida – they are frames assembled in several pieces of unbreakable but rigid material. At the limit, the eventual use of masks without temples but only equipped with elastic bands is better ”.