Back to school: my child needs glasses, but won’t wear them

A child needs many abilities to succeed in school and good vision is essential. It has been estimated that as much as 80 percent of the learning a child does occurs through his or her eyes. Children use their vision to read, write and use technology each day. When vision is not functioning properly, education and participation in sports can suffer.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Eye examinations are important for all children and adults, starting at six months of age. If your child has been prescribed glasses, it may be difficult to enforce your child to wear glasses. One fun saying referring to glasses is, “When they are not on your face, they’re in your case.” A few tips to help get your child to wear glasses

  1. Have your child wear glasses during enjoyable activities. They will be having so much fun that she will forget she is wearing them.
  2. Put the glasses on your child in the morning when your child is well rested and in a good mood.
  3. Be positive. The attitude of parents, grandparents and friends can influence a child more than you think. Make glasses “cool” for your child: point out pictures of sports stars or entertainers who wear glasses.
  4. Compliment your child for remembering to wear his glasses.
  5. Let your child select the frame. Select three or four different frames that are acceptable to you and then let the child pick the favorite.
  6. Make the glasses a part of the child’s daily routine.
  7. Advise your child’s teacher of when your child should wear glasses.
  8. Even better, keep a second pair of glasses at school.
  9. For sports, let your child select the frame and put the sports goggles in a bag with other sports equipment.
  10. If glasses are tight or uncomfortable, check the fit of the glasses. Stop by the optical shop if the frame loosens or becomes crooked (this may occur often in children).

Some good books about children wearing glasses Ages 3-5

  • Baby Duck and the Bad Eyeglasses, by Amy Hest (Candlewick Press)

Ages 5-8

  • Dogs Don’t Wear Glasses by Adrienne Geoghegan (Crocodile Books)
  • Libby’s New Glasses, by Tricia Tusa (Holiday House)
  • All the Better to See You With, by Margaret Wild (Whitman and Co)
  • X-Ray Mable and Her Magic Specs, by Claire Fletcher (Bodley Head)
  • The Arthur Books, by Marc Brown (Red Fox)
  • Glasses. Who needs ‘Em?, by Lane Smith (Viking)
  • Luna and the Big Blurr, by Shirley Day
  • Chuckie Visits the Eye Doctor by Luke David

Ages 8+

  • The Harry Potter Books, by JK Rowling (Bloomsbury)
  • Mom, I Need Glasses, by Angrliks Wolff (Lion Press)
  • The Eyes of Kid Midas, by Neal Shusterman (Little Brown and Company)

~ Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO
California Optometric Association

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