Sydney Pettit wasn’t too sure at first about wearing prescription glasses.

Like a lot of children, the six-year-old Owen Sound girl worried about what her schoolmates and friends would think of her new specs and about adjusting to the feeling of frames on her face.

But, after picking out a pair she liked – Dutz Eyewear frames in deep blue with a hint of soft pink – it wasn’t long until she discovered how great glasses can be.

“It took her about a week or two to really get used to them,” said her mom Jody Johnson Pettit.

“She noticed how they helped her vision and she loved the compliments she was getting.”

Sydney said her choice of frames was based, first and foremost, on colour, followed by their shape.

“I liked these right away,” she said. The Canadian Paediatric Society says 5 per cent to 10 per cent of preschoolers have vision problems. That percentage increases to 25 per cent for school-aged children, according to the Canadian Association of Optometrists.

The CAO says the earlier a visual impairment is discovered and addressed, the less negative impact it will have on the child’s development. But, while most parents can clearly see the benefits of eyewear for their kids, getting youngsters excited about glasses can sometimes be a challenge.

Eyewear companies have responded by designing cool frames in styles and colours that appeal to both parents and children alike.
The number one tip for helping kids adjust to wearing glasses, according to eyewear companies, is to ensure they are a key part of the selection process.

“Remind them that glasses are cool and just another fashion accessory to better reflect the personality behind the frames,” said Mark Ginsberg, senior vice-president, global marketing for Marchon Eyewear.

Children, like adults, want stylish frames, he said, and they are well aware of trends in the market. Once frames
are chosen, it’s important to make sure they fit properly, he said.

Marchon has several children’s eyewear collections, including Nike, Lacoste and Flexon. All of the styles in
the collections are “kid-friendly without looking childish,” Ginsberg said.

“Nike provides the best in class for performance and sport. Lacoste offers that ‘cool’ factor with the croc logos and amazing colour choices. And nothing spells durability like Flexon – America’s number one titanium memory metal. Great for kids as these frames return to their original shape even after bending,” he said.

Allison Perry of Ogi Eyewear said the best kids’ frame bridge the gap between playful and practical. Ogi Kids has more than six dozen fun and fashionable frames for children to choose from. Many of the frames are in vibrant colours that kids like, including bright pinks, cool blues, eye-catching greens and striking purples.

“Glasses are becoming more and more of a fashion statement. Kids need to be encouraged to treat them as another way they can express themselves,” she said.

Ogi Kids also has a “Mommy & Me, Daddy & I” collection, which co-ordinates adults and child-sized frames.

“The collection reflects the growing demand for kids eyewear that is refined and sophisticated. Each style is
available in a variety of bright colours carefully picked to exemplify the playful nature of the collection,” the company says.

Perry said kids’ frames should be built tough enough to endure the active, unpredictable lives of children.

“Solid construction is an important thing to look for. Kids can be somewhat destructive so finding a frame
made with high-quality materials is a must,” she said.

Safilo, which has introduced a new Kids by Safilo for children eight years of age and under, says it has also
developed a collection that helps young kids adjust to and love wearing glasses.

The eyewear is inspired by kids and designed to meet their needs. The frames are light, durable and comfortable and come in colours and with decorations – like a cat, car or bear – that appeal to children.

The front pieces are always translucent and become almost invisible in styles for very young children so
that the glasses have a discreet presence on their face.

The collection includes six styles of frames, with four colours – reds, blues, pinks and purples – in each style.

As the ideal blend of innovation and comfort, the new eyewear collection perfectly matches children’s requirements and, at the same time, their parents’ expectations.