We stock a wide variety of high quality frames that kids just love to try on and own. We stock many designer labels including RipCurl, Nike, Flexon 'X' Games, Whiz Kids, GR8KIDS, Lazer Junior, Rodenstock, International Eye Stuff, Icy Eyewear.
We are always receiving new lines and models so to see the full range of products on offer please drop in and take a look.
If you're in search of a pair of glasses, especially for the first time, then you'll probably find your first trip to the opticians a little confusing. There so many frames to choose from making it difficult to decide which frame will your child agree to wear.. Will they be rugged enough to last?.. and will they cost you the earth?
Here are some things to consider when choosing spectacles for your child.
This is the number one consideration when buying glasses for your child. Only GOC Registered Dispensing Opticians are qualified to dispense glasses to children and low vision patients. All of the Dispensing Opticians at RC Arnolds are GOC registered so you can be sure that you are receiving the correct advice and expert fitting for your child.
We all know that it's usual for kids to get a little teasing when they first wear their glasses. It is important to make sure they do not look "un cool" in their new glasses. However it's also important to ensure that you are not swayed by what your child might be asking for so that you find frames which are appropriate for school, rugged enough to endure any rough and tumble and not too expensive.
The important thing is to make sure your child will wear the glasses. If necessary, it might be a good idea to spend a little extra money on an additional feature that could be deal clincher for your child such as photochromic lenses so that their glasses turn into cool shades when outside.
It is always better to use the thinnest and lightest lenses when possible. If the prescription requires strong lenses then we recommend frames that take smaller lenses. This is because smaller lenses have less aberrations near the edge of the lens than do large lenses. These aberrations can lead to blurred or distorted peripheral vision.
Most kid's glasses frames are made from either plastic or metal. In the past, plastic frames were always the first choice for children because they were considered more durable, less likely to be bent or broken, lighter in weight and less expensive. But now the choice is wide open since metal frames also incorporate these features as well. Flexon frames are made from titanium and have an almost magical ability to be bent and twisted to impossible angles only to return undamaged to their original shape when released - perfect for the most absent minded or rough and tumble child.
There are a large variety of metal compositions so it's necessary to ask an expert which one is best suited to your child. If your child has shown sensitivity to some substances, it could be advisable to choose frames made from hypoallergenic materials. Some metal frames containing nickel have been known to cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Young children have noses that are not fully developed. This means that unless their glasses fit correctly at the bridge they are likely to slide down the nose. Children often cope with this by simply leaving their glasses on the end of their nose and looking over the top. Metal frames usually have adjustable nose pads and so are more easily fitted to children. Children's plastic frames are made to fit smaller noses. Whatever the frame material, it is important that they are fitted by an expert optician who knows when the frame is positioned correctly.
For toddlers and active kids, it's usually recommended to get sides that wrap all the way around the back of the ear to help keep glasses from sliding down or dropping off a child's face completely. These wrap around side arms are generally only available on metal frames. Another option is a strap that goes around the head. Spectacles with wrap around side arms or straps are not a good choice for part-time wearers because they are a bit more awkward to put on and take off.
For glasses that go on and off frequently, it might be better to have regular sides that go straight back and then curve gently around the back of the ear.
A good feature for kids is sprung sided frames. These frames have special hinges that allow the arms to flex outward, away from the frames, without causing any damage. Although they sometimes cost a bit more, sprung sided frames can be a worthwhile investment since they reduce the risk of frequent repairs or adjustments that can arise when children do not take care of their glasses when putting them on or off, or when they have a rough play day. Sprung sided frames are strongly recommended for toddlers, who can sometimes get carried away playing with their new glasses.
Generally we recommend that children's lenses should be made of a good quality CR-39 plastic. This material is extremely tough, scratch-resistant and blocks all UV light. Polycarbonate is also another possible option which is even tougher and lighter than CR-39, but does come at a cost. These lens materials are lighter than glass and with safety in mind, they are significantly more impact-resistant.
No matter how tough your child's spectacle lenses may be, the spectacles may not be suitable for sports since the frames may not provide enough protection from flying balls and collisions. In this case it might be better to obtain a pair of sports goggles that can help protect your child from eye injury. Properly fitting goggles can also improve your child's sporting performance since no matter how they move the lenses will be securely held in the optimum position for good vision.
Of course another alternative to glasses for older kids is to try contact lenses. In terms of sporting performance contact lenses can give a real edge over glasses or goggles since they always stay in position, don't break and don't steam up. You may be surprised to learn that children as young as 11 (and some even younger) might be suitable for contact lens use. For more information, see our kids contact lenses page.
Because children can be tough on their eyewear, it's always a good idea to purchase a second, or backup, pair of glasses for them. This especially is true if your child has a strong prescription and cannot function without their glasses.
In some cases, sports goggles can be used as a spare pair of glasses. It's always a good idea if your child's prescription has not changed significantly to keep their previous eyeglasses in a safe place for use as a spare. However, you should replace or repair their main pair as soon as possible to ensure correct eye vision development.
Another cost effective way to look after your child's glasses might be to join Eyeplan, our monthly payment care scheme. Not only can the cost of your glasses be spread out, membership includes reductions on spectacles, accidental damage cover and optomap advanced retinal imaging.
Children's eye examinations are free on the NHS at RC Arnold. So if you have any worries about your child's eyesight or need to buy a new pair of glasses for them, then please make an appointment to see our friendly and qualified Optometrists and Opticians. Or if you have any questions please visit us or contact us by phone.