Children’s Glasses

This information leaflet is intended to offer advice to parents or carers whose children have been prescribed spectacles.

Childrens GlassesTo view a PDF you may need to download Adobe Reader.

What is the HES(P) form the Eye Department has issued me?

The HES(P) is a voucher and details the prescription strength of the lenses your child needs. It is worth a sum of money which goes towards the price of the glasses. This voucher/prescription is valid for 12 months. There are currently 10 voucher values. The value of a voucher varies depending on the strength of the lenses your child needs.

What should I do with it?

Take the voucher to an Optometrist or Optician where they can dispense a pair of glasses. They will not need to retest your child’s eyes, but you should take your child with you for fitting purposes.

Can my child have a second pair of glasses?

The hospital will only pay for one pair of glasses. If you feel you need a second pair, you should discuss this with the Optician who makes the glasses, but you will be required to fund the second set of spectacles yourself.

Which Optometrist/Optician should I choose?

We are not able to advise you to go to a particular centre, but you should go to one where you are able to request help in choosing and fitting the frames from an Optometrist or a Dispensing Optician. They are registered with the General Optical Council and will give professional advice on the choice of lenses and frames available for your child and help you select the best option for their needs.

What should I consider when choosing my child’s glasses?

  • The glasses frame must not be too narrow. This will ensure your child is looking through the lenses rather than over the top of their glasses.
  • The width of the glasses frame should be sufficient to ensure the eyes are centrally placed within the lenses, but not in contact with the sides of the head.
  • The bridge should be fairly low on the child’s frame to ensure the frame is raised up enough to place the lenses centrally in front of the eyes.
  • The glasses sides should follow the contour of the ear closely and should have no more than 3 to 3.5cm length behind the ear.
  • Sports straps/curl end sides can be useful to keep the frame in place. Discuss options with your Optician who can advise you further.
  • Ask your Optician or Orthoptist for information regarding plastic frames for babies or children with small features.

Do I have to pay for my child’s glasses?

This depends on which Optician you choose and which frames you decide to have. The HES(P) voucher contributes towards the cost of the glasses and in the majority of cases covers the entire cost resulting in glasses that are free of charge. If you choose a designer or specialist type of frame or thinned lenses you may need to add extra funds towards them. Ask about this before making your final choices of both Optician and frame.

What do I do if the glasses get broken?

This is very likely to happen, but it is not a cause for concern. Take the frame back to the Optician who dispensed them, as they are able to organise a replacement or repair, often free of charge.

You should also return to the Optician for adjustment if the frame is no longer fitting so that the lenses are sitting right in front of the eyes, as described above. If the sides of the frame are stretched around the side of the head, it often can leave indentation grooves, indicating the frame is too small, or your child has grown out of them. Visit your Optician to see if the spectacles can be re-adjusted/replaced as appropriate.

Remember if the glasses are uncomfortable your child is less likely to want to wear them.