Durability and appearance are two important things to consider when buying glasses...

Four-year-old Claire Warren and her mother, Erica, were looking for different things when they went shopping for the youngster's first pair of glasses. "I knew I wanted something that was durable that wouldn't break easily," said the Plain City mother. Her preschooler was focused on style. "She kept going to dark frames," recalled Warren. Luckily, they found a pair of frames that suited both their needs. Warren allowed Claire to choose dark frames with pink flowers on the sides because she wanted her to be excited about wearing them. "She likes them," Warren said. "She doesn't fuss about wearing them." Durability and appearance are two important things to consider when buying glasses, said Paul Zinser, an optician with Nationwide Children's Hospital. He also recommends paying attention to what materials are used to craft the frames and how they fit the child. He suggests parents consider titanium frames because they are light-weight and durable. Titanium frames also are hypoallergenic, which is helpful because many kids have skin sensitivities, Zinser said. Plastic frames are another kid-friendly option because they also are durable. He recommends using polycarbonate lenses for children because they won't shatter and are made with a good scratch-resistant coating. "Scratch coating is a must for kids," he said. When selecting frames, it's important to look at the fit. The two key areas for fitting glasses are the nose and the ear. The bridge of the glasses should fit snugly on the nose to keep them in place. Metal frames, unlike plastic, have nose pads, which allow opticians to tailor the fit of the glasses for each child. Plastic frames can be bent slightly but tend to have less adjustability at the nose so it's important to select a frame with a good fit. Zinser recommends that children choose frames with temples - or side pieces - that curve behind the ear. "You want to hold them really snug," he said. "You want it gripping so it's not going to come off. That's definitely a must for the younger kids." Zinser also encourages parents to allow their children to play a role in selecting the frames. "We try to let kids choose as far as style," he said. "Parents are usually on board with that. It's important that children wear their glasses and if they don't like them they may not wear them."