Encouraging Children to Wear Glasses
If your child is having difficulty keeping their glasses on, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips and recommendations from Vision Forward staff:
- Make sure his/her glasses are fitting properly. Adjust or change the strap on the back. Try “Stay Puts” that hold the glasses around the ear if necessary.
- If your child doesn’t tolerate clothing touching their skin or anything near their head/face (hats/glasses), try the following: remove the strap, verbalize what you are going to do before you do it (i.e. “I am going to put your glasses on your head. Ready, set, go…”), and/or have the child help you put the glasses on themselves (with your help of course).
- Create a routine of putting on glasses while getting dressed and stick to this routine every day. Routines are almost always helpful for children of all ages.
- Put glasses on your child while they are sleeping, so they are already there when the child wakes up. Avoiding the physical struggle of putting glasses on can sometimes allow them to see they are there to help.
- Keep your child engaged in his/her favorite visual/fine motor activities while first putting on his/her glasses. Keep his/her mind and hands busy. If possible, have two people available — one to put on the glasses and one to keep your child engaged in an activity.
- Think about the purpose of the glasses. Wearing the glasses at the right time can help the child notice the difference with them on versus off. When a child understands they help them see better, they are more likely to keep them on longer. For example, if the glasses are for seeing better at a distance, try having your child wear them while looking out a window, driving in a car, or playing outdoors. Talk about things you see far away and point to them. If the glasses are for seeing better up close, try having your child wear them while looking at pictures in books, playing with a favorite toy, or stacking blocks.
- Wear glasses yourself. Children often imitate caregivers/siblings.
- Have your child wear a headband or sweatband over his/her glasses or cut holes in them to put the glasses through behind his/her ears.
- If your child takes the glasses off, always put them back on and say, “Only mommy/daddy can take your glasses off. I will take your glasses off now and you will wear them a little later.” An adult should always be the last one to take off the glasses.
- If wearing glasses is a struggle, use a timer two to three times each day for 30 minutes, 15 minutes, or even 5 minutes each attempt. Gradually increase the time each day for the first few weeks.
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