Active children are healthy children. However, activity also exposes them to injury. While the prognosis for most childhood injuries is complete recovery, this can not be said about eye injuries. Sharp objects, tools, and even toys can injure the eyes. Other risks include falls against furniture and schoolyard play.
Prescription glasses made from any plastic material greatly reduce this risk, much more so than for children who do not wear glasses. Although glass lenses offer protection against some risks, they can shatter if the impact force is great enough, such as when falling against a hard object. Glass is also heavier than plastic, which makes the eyewear uncomfortable and increases the likelihood of its falling off during rough play. For these reasons, glass is the wrong lens material for children.
Assuming your child does not require a high prescription lens, the plastic lens candidates are standard CR-39 plastic, polycarbonate, and Trivex.
From a safety standpoint, CR-39 is a far better choice than glass. It will protect the eyes from many impacts, but not all. Depending on the speed and other circumstances, a fall while riding a bicycle might generate sufficient impact to shatter CR-39. Informal play of certain sports, such as baseball, may also shatter CR-39. On the other hand, polycarbonate has ten times the impact resistance of CR-39. For eyewear use, polycarbonate is practically shatterproof.
This material has many applications requiring high impact resistance. For example, the canopies of some fighter planes are made from this material to protect the pilot from bird strike. It is also the standard lens material for safety glasses. Of course, glasses with polycarbonate lenses do not automatically make them safety glasses. Safety glasses have additional frame requirements and must meet ANSI standards.
Polycarbonate has a few drawbacks. Its optical quality is not as good as CR-39 (standard plastic) and it costs more. While standard plastic costs $5, polycarbonate is $15. However, both materials will cost the same if you factor in ultraviolet protection. CR-39 allows some transmission of UVA and will require a UV blocking coating for full protection. This coating costs $10. Polycarbonate does not require a UV coating because it naturally blocks all UV.
Ultraviolet protection is important for people of all ages, including children. The reason is that UVA causes cumulative eye damage that takes many decades before its effects cause vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. About half of that exposure time occurs before 18 years of age. It is never too soon to protect against ultraviolet.
Trivex is about as shatter proof as polycarbonate, but has a better optical quality that is comparable to CR-39. Trivex also has military applications that make use of its toughness and strength. Like polycarbonate, it naturally blocks all UV. A drawback of Trivex is its price. As shown here, it costs twice as much as polycarbonate.
Both polycarbonate and Trivex are lighter than CR-39. This means that prescription glasses using polycarbonate or Trivex lenses are more comfortable and less likely to slide down the nose or fall off. In terms of safety, either of these two materials are excellent choices.
Fitting in and looking good is important to everyone, including your children. If social discomfort prevents them from wearing their prescription glasses, then even the toughest lens material will not protect their eyes. To ensure they always wear their glasses, they must like and feel good about them.
MyEyewear2Go has an extensive selection of stylish children’s eyewear from multiple brands including Nike prescription glasses. You will not have any problems finding prescription glasses that will make your children happy. For more information, or if you want assistance in selecting safe and stylish glasses for your children, please contact us.
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