Teaching Children How to Care for Their Glasses
While parents can be successful in teaching their children to take care of their glasses properly, one thing to keep in mind is that kids will be kids. They are just not very responsible when it comes to cleaning and maintaining their glasses. If you have to bring your child to the optician several times to have them adjusted, don’t panic and think your child will never learn. It is completely normal for children to bend their glasses out of shape or to fiddle and play with them. Let’s face it: what’s more interesting to your child, keeping glasses properly cleaned and fitted well on his face or trying to magnify ants on the sidewalk using the sun’s rays through the lenses? There is hope for your child, but keep in mind that you may be the one doing the majority of the work.
Keeping Glasses Clean
Always remember to help your child clean his glasses carefully. Dirt and dust can accumulate on the lenses and possibly scratch them. What’s the point in wearing glasses if he can’t see out of them? While this may be his motive to get out of wearing them, make sure he handles the glasses with caution because he may inadvertently scratch or damage them.
Whether he is putting on or removing his glasses, make sure he doesn’t touch the lenses with his fingers. Dirt and oil accumulate on his fingertips and can blur his vision if they get on his glasses. In fact, you may want to teach him to wash his hands before handling his glasses, if possible. Children aren’t necessarily experts when it comes to clean hand hygiene! Make sure he always handles his glasses by the frame when cleaning. You may need to help the first few times so that he sees what the proper procedure is.
How to Clean Dirty Glasses
Make sure your child is well-equipped with the right cloth, preferably a soft, non-abrasive material, and a good lens cleaner. Show your child how to rinse the lenses with warm water to get the dirt and dust off. Explain to him that if he starts to wipe using the cloth right away, he may scratch the lens if there is hard dirt on them. Get into the habit of cleaning glasses before bedtime, as dirt may accumulate throughout the day, especially if he spent the better part of the afternoon in the playground’s sandbox or mulch beds!
How to Handle Glasses
Show your child how to properly put on or remove his glasses by teaching him to handle them at the temples. Lift them up and over his ears and bring them forward until they are off. Try to make sure that your child doesn’t rip them off and toss them around, but know that it will probably happen. It will cause unnecessary wear-and-tear on the glasses, but be understanding. It’s important that your child remembers to always use two hands to avoid touching the lenses and bending the frames out of shape.
Kids also love to constantly adjust their glasses, pushing them up and down on their nose, on top of their head, or if they are learning about sharing, they might lend them to a friend to try on. As you have learned as the parent of a child, they are curious and will want to try everything.
Set a Routine
Get your child into the habit of putting his glasses in a case, preferably a sturdy, hard one to protect them from damage and keep dust and dirt off the lenses. Consider letting your child pick out a case suited to his taste. Suggest bright colors or a favorite cartoon character. Prepare yourself for a worldwide search for that perfect SpongeBob Square Pants design! By letting him choose his own case, he will be more likely to use it and know where it is at all times.
Set the Example
If you wear glasses, consider making your child your “partner.” Buy a case for yourself and carry it with you just like your child would carry his in his backpack. Have lens-cleaning parties where you pretend you are different super-heroes who need glasses to save the world and must clean them properly in order to do so. Try to think of other fun scenarios that you and your child can do together. If he sees you wearing your glasses, taking care of them properly and having fun at the same time, he is more likely to follow your steps and do the same.
Sara Roberts is a content contributor for Just Eyewear, a prescription eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses retailer.
cc licensed flickr photo shared by Jesslee Cuizon