Need to Hear Experiences About Glasses for a 3.5 Yr Old

Updated on September 11, 2009
E.V. asks from Cottage Grove, MN
15 answers

My daughter is 3.5 and we just found out that she needs glasses. We spent a few hours shopping for them this past Saturday, and it is hard to know which route to go. There are a few "flexible" frames that are ugly, but functional, because they would be hard to break. The other styles are much cuter, and I know that once she learns how, she will take good care of them. The gamble is that all of the store warranties only last up to a year for only ONE fix! Yikes! I have no idea how often a preschooler's glasses might break? Anyone have experience with your child wearing them this young? What type of glasses were worthwhile? How did you teach your kids to respect them?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

My 3.5 year old got glasses about 6 months ago. I did get the bendy kind that were actually cute! We got them in Maple Grove at Northwest Eye. They were really expensive but they did have a warranty on the frames and lenses. So, the first pair of frames got broken in about 2 months. I went to pick her up from daycare and she wasn't wearing them. I looked in her cubby and they were completely flat like someone had sat on them!!! The lenses also got really scratched. We replaced them about 2 months ago and they've been pretty good. I think she just had to understand what happens when they get scratched - that she can't see anymore! We also have a rule that she doesn't take them off - only mom, dad and her teachers. I would recommend the bendy frames and scratch coating on the lenses. Good luck!

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

My 2.5 yr old has glasses that are about 4 months old and we've already lost a lens! We have a one year warranty and I would recommend shopping around to find a store (a good store!) that offers a 2 yr warranty like the one several people have mentioned. We have the regular frames w/ the wrap around ear piece and they've worked fine. I have had and issue with her pulling them up onto her forehead and trying to get them off. I tell her that if she doesn't have them on then her stuffed animals can't see her (she's smart enough to figure out that she can see them w/ them off) and I have also had to tell her if she takes them off she will not be allowed to wear her "beautiful wonderful dresses" (her words!) for a day.



answers from Milwaukee on

I think that a year is fine for insurance on your little one's glasses. Eye exams and glasses/frames are good once per year with insurances because people's eyes change. She may not need the same prescription after one year. Plus, her head is going to grow...she will need to get bigger glasses...
I found the advice on contact lenses pretty interesting...I am just curious if Grandmas help with the contacts when the little ones spend the night...
Good luck!
J. L.



answers from Lincoln on

My son started wearing glasses at 9 months. We never had the flexible ones and he was very good about keeping them on. I would say that you need to find an eyeglass place that has a better warranty. The one we have has a one year warranty on the lenses and 2-year for the frames, and they are not just one fix. We are regulars at the eyeglass place as we need adjustments and changes regularly. I can tell you that my son is now 4 and he puts his glasses on with ease. We have the wrap around ear pieces, and that helps keep them on. He is very comfortable with them and understands that he sees better with them. The most trouble we had was with the other children at daycare interested in them and pulling them off. Good luck with everything.



answers from Milwaukee on

My daughter has been wearing glasses since she was 2 and now is 10. We usually go to Steins which has stores nation wide because they have the 2/$99 special. I would advise you to get the plastic frames and lenses as my 10 year old broke her second pair of glasses within the first week of school. At first when she wore them as a toddler I had to buy her a strap to keep her glasses on but as time went by she learned how to wear them. Consistency is also key. Ie. she takes them off you put them back on.(She also had to have her eye patched during this time) Accidents do happen and it is good to have a back up pair. I was recently at WalMart and saw they have $29.00 lenses when you buy frames starting at $10.00.
Also during a 8 year period I have only needed insurance once. Most eye places will replace screws for free and I buy the scratch resistant lenses.



answers from Milwaukee on

I am a general manager of an optical store. We recommend spring hinges. The children that we work with we show them to always use two hands (if one is used then that puts stress on the side they're always using and that causes breakages) and we also teach them a rhyme that when they're not wearing them on the face they also put them in a case. Make sure that wherever you take your child that they do a proper fit for them also. There are alot of cute kids frames out there. Your optician should help you select what's best for your child. With my company we offer adjustments and repairs at no cost at all times. We also offer a protection plan that lets you replace your glasses with a 1x copayment to replace and 50% off after that. It is only valid for 1 year from date of purchase but believe me with a child as young as yours you may need to consider that instead of buying new glasses. One more thing please make sure that you get the best lenses for your child. Polycarbonate is highly recommended along with a few other best products. Good luck and happy eyeglass shopping. I hope this helps.


answers from Salt Lake City on

You are going to think I'm crazy, but I would put her in contact lenses. My son started wearing glasses at a young age and broke them on what seems like a daily basis. When my cousin's little boy needed glasses her eye doctor recommended contact lenses. He said little kids break, forget, and lose glasses and that the best way to ensure that he could see was to make sure he had the proper correction. He said it's safe for a toddler to wear contacts and that the risk of loss, breakage, or other issues become irrelevant. My cousin just pops the lenses in his eyes in the morning and takes them out and cleans them at night. He asks for them each morning as he rolls out of bed! My cousin and I both have triplets and so we are seen by many specialists. If her doctor says this is an acceptable treatment, I would trust that decision.

I don't know--worth a try!

good luck!



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Shopko has one of the best warranties there is. All frames have a one year warranty unlimited. This is no matter how they break. They do have some of the cute flex frames that are nickelodeon. Those have a 2 year warranty. If you go with the wonderlight lenses they have a one year scratch warranty. Any eye Dr would recommend those because they are more durable (shatter resistant). You need to protect those eyes. They are pretty reasonably priced especially for the warranty.



answers from Minneapolis on

I take my daughter to America's Best 2 pairs of glasses and a exam for $69.99 and they do sell insurance on them too for slightly more. My daughter in glasses for a few years and has only damaged 1 pair. They are so cheap at America's best that really even if she did break both pairs it's not a big deal to go get more. They are name brand frames etc.They are just like last years models sorta like how TJMaxx and Marshall's sells nice name brand clothes for cheap but it's last years models or stuff that never made it to the big dept.stores.

I would go with the normal frames at age 3.5 I have seen the plastic flexy frames and in my opinion they make kids look like special needs or handicapped kids when they're not.

My cousin was so frustrated with her 5yr.old and glasses she was talking with another mom unknown to her that she was a eyedoctor and recommended putting her in contacts seems weird but it's worked out great for them.


answers from Minneapolis on

I take my son to Uptown Eyecare in Monticello, MN. He's had glasses since shortly before his 5th birthday, and he's 7 now. We've been in to get them repaired often, the warranty covers them for 2yrs regardless of what happens to them. they will replace the lenses up to 3 times, and the frames as often as needed because thats their warranty.

I suggest you find a quality place that has a good warranty and that knows what they are doing. Some of the cheap places aren't the greatest, they only do the minimum and will put your child into glasses that aren't the best for them. Call around to the smaller places that employs an actual eye doctor, and better yet find one that specializes in children. Your insurance will cover it regardless of where you go, so find some place that will do the best work and will take the time to help you and your child find the right frames for her.

For the record, my 7yr old is really meticulous with his glasses, and we've had lots of minor repairs, and a few major repairs. We've had the lenses replaced twice already in teh the pair he has now ,adn the frames replaced once. Thats why I suggest a quality place.



answers from Des Moines on

Our son has been wearing glasses since he was 4 months and he is now 3.5. I'm not sure where you live but we live in the Des Moines area and and get his glasses Children's Eye Clinic in West Des Moines. The glasses here come with a unlimited 1 year warranty. This also includes a unlimited number of adjustments (to fix them when they get bent).


answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter just turned 15 and has been wearing glasses since she was 4.She just got her 4th set of frames....always changed dueto her size changing along with fashion/just plain tired of the ones she wore for a few years each time...remember..your child will grow..and grow tired of the same old ones! We got a few years out of each one and I was fine with that. We always earmarked a bit of the medical reimbursement acct money we set aside every 3rd year or so for her to get new everything.

Scratched lenses usually happened if she took them off when she was not supposed to (she has to wear them all the time) the first 6 months we went thru maybe 3 sets...after that we all had it figured out (no one else wears glasses in the home so it was a learning curve for all of us)..she also had to do eye patching for a long time so there was alot of eye involvement for us.

I recommend dilligence in teaching your child proper care and when its ok to take them off and touch them, to handle them carefully and the correct way. Kids can learn, they just need patience and teaching!

I recommend the polycarb lenses...glare coating and consider the indoor outdoor fade to sunglasses thing (Transitions)....altho for my child she flat out refused..still does..stubborn thing....even tho our eye doc has always wanted her to have it for eye protection and to ease strain as well in the sun..for outdoor play or those who do sports or spend time on a lake, etc......

Good luck and have fun with it......for my daughter (who is now an artist) this was something I always let HER choose..even tho one pair I hated for a long time..very colorful and wild looking to me when we were still new to this look.....but SHE had to wear them not me. Please keep thatin mind if the child becomes willful about a fun design...maybe ot at 3.5 but that will change trust me!

Its an extension of let them have some say in it!



answers from Minneapolis on

It seems to be a well-kept secret that you can buy prescription glasses, frames and lenses, for about $20.00. All my friends have gotten them and they love the many choices of frames. All you need is your child's prescription and follow the instructions on the site to measure for size. Zenni Optical - see URL below:



answers from Minneapolis on

My son got glasses at the age of three. He has always treated them well. We are lucky. He is now 7 and we have only replaced his glasses once. However, we got him glasses at Vision World when we could get two for the price of one. They are just ordinary glasses. That always gave us an extra set if something happened to the other. We currently have only one pair that is good and have taken parts from both pair to create one good pair. It has saved us a lot of money. Good luck with your decision.



answers from Madison on

Personally, I would never put contacts in a young child's eyes, but it's up to each individual.

Why wouldn't I do it? First, the eye needs to breath and needs a lot of air; young children grow very rapidly. If the eye should grow faster than the size of the contact, then there's the possibility of the eyeball being "squeezed" and having more problems ensue. Also, the cold cleaning formulas still use thimerosal to preserve the solution. Thimerosal is mercury; mercury is toxic, and by putting the solution right in the eye, you're putting mercury directly into your child's body. You'd be surprised how much heavy metal toxicity your child probably already has; you don't need to add more. Also, it's a big responsibility to take care of the lenses, to clean and disinfect them properly, not tear or scratch the lenses. And what happens if one of the lenses pops out at school and gets lost? Then the child is left without anything to wear.

And an even scarier thing--what if your child has dry eyes? It's a hard thing to pinpoint, but it can cause a lot of damage. I know; I tried to wear contacts for 5 years in high school/college before having to give up. First I became allergic to the thimerosal solution, so all cold solutions were out. Then I got the heat/boil system, which for some odd reason, I began getting holes in my contacts. AND my contacts started getting sucked onto my eyeballs and wouldn't come off! Yes, they truly did. It took me half an hour and half a bottle of saline water one day to get one of them off my eye--I should have gone to the eye doctor for help, but I wasn't near a eye place where I could go for help. Turns out I suffer from dry eyes and am unable to wear contacts. In all probability, I'll never be able to have laser eye surgery either.

I've worn glasses since 10 years old/5th grade, my daughter had her first set when she was 3 years old; she's now 9 years old. We never got the wrap around the ear for her, just regular glasses. She was so proud of her glasses. We never had to fight to get her to wear them, as she'd been crying about the light hurting her eyes for a few months prior and knew that she needed them in order to not have headaches, for her eyes not to hurt, and for her to see. She is far-sighted and also suffers from Strabismus. The only problem she's ever had was with kids always wanting to "try them on." The first thing she asks for in the morning is her glasses.

I personally don't think there's anyting wrong with wearing glasses. My daughter outgrew either the frames or the prescriptive lenses way before we ever had to worry about using the breakage deposit. In fact, we just used the breakage deposit this Labor Day weekend--but only because a part of the metal frame itself broke, not from anything my daughter did to break them.

The decision is up to every parent and what their toddler is like/what they get into/how active they are. It also helps if others in the household wear glasses, so that the child sees and learns by example. Do you or your husband wear contacts? Could you wear your own glasses for a 3-4 month period, until your child gets used to wearing her glasses, and then "wean" yourself back onto your contacts? It would help enormously. I know in our case it did.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches