SPECTACLE LENS MATERIAL SELECTION FOR CHILDREN
Children's rough and tumble lifestyles place extra stress and strain of lots of things. Spectacles worn by kids typically suffer more wear and tear than those worn by adults. In particular the lenses in Children's spectacles normally get scratched quicker, are more susceptible to breakages and get dirtier more often!
These factors should be taken into account when dispensing Children's spectacles and we recommend the following guidelines.
IMPACT / BREAKAGE RESISTANCE
Even if your child doesn't have to wear their glasses for sport or out in the playground, kids will be kids and there is a far higher likelihood the lenses will suffer a hard impact at some stage in their life. Whilst the lenses provide some degree of coverage and protection to the eyes, cracked or shattered lenses can be very dangerous indeed given the potential for lens fragments to injure the eyes.
A responsible approach is to select lens materials that are resistant to breakage or shattering. Glass lenses are definitely a no-no and fortunately they are rarely used in today's spectacles. All of today's resin based spectacle lenses are far safer than their glass counterparts, but some can still be prone to breaking or flaking.
Luckily there are specific resin based lenses that are perfect for the application. These lenses have been developed with characteristics that make them virtually impossible to shatter or chip and as a result they are the natural choice for children's spectacles.
The Phoenix range of lenses from Japanese lens manufacturer Hoya features extreme impact resistance and a low specific gravity making them light and comfortable without compromising the safety aspect. So impressive is the impact resistance of Phoenix lenses that they are approved as the material to be used in certified industrial safety glasses. Phoenix lenses also have excellent light transmission characteristics unlike some other safety rated materials such as polycarbonate.
All resin spectacle lenses require a coating on their surface which serves to improve the surface hardness and in some cases control reflections and other unwanted factors.
The best coatings for children's lenses will have the absolute maximum scratch resistance but also do a good job at minimising dirt build up and be easy to wipe clean.
Hoya's Diamond coat combines maximum scratch resistance with good control of surface reflections. It is available on the Phoenix range of lenses and is our general recommendation.
BLUE LIGHT CONTROL
There is mounting evidence that we should regulate our exposure to blue light. With our children spending so much time in front of screens there should be consideration given to blue light protection on their spectacle lenses. This is a conversation to have with your child's Optometrist who can assess visual symptoms and exposure levels.
If a blue light protecting coating is suggested it can be specified on Phoenix lenses at the time of ordering. For a more detailed look at the effects of blue light on our visual systems click here.
KEEPING CHILDREN'S GLASSES CLEAN
So your child is all kitted up with their glasses but can't seem to keep their lenses clean?
The supplied microfiber cleaning cloth will be effective for light duty cleaning such as removing finger prints, but what if the lenses are really dirty?
Really dirty lenses will need a dedicated spray cleaner or an approved alcohol wipe to fully remove heavy build up and restore the lens surface. In the event there is something dried out on the lenses like food, never scrape the lens surface. Instead wet the surface with spray cleaner or mild soapy water and give the contaminant time to soften up so it can be wiped away. To protect from accidental damage spectacles should always be stored in the hard case provided when not in use. As we say, "If they're not on your face, they're in the case"
Our practices stock both spray cleaner and approved alcohol wipes for spectacle cleaning and we are always happy to demonstrate their use and go over the correct cleaning procedure for both children and adults alike.
If all else fails bring your child's spectacles into any Abernethy Owens practice and we will give them a professional clean using our ultrasonic cleaner and carry out a service and adjustment at the same visit.
If you have questions about Children's spectacles we are always available and happy to assist.