Eyeglasses | Optical Centre Smartbuyglasses UK

Can I buy kid’s prescription glasses online?

As an adult, you can buy prescription glasses online, so why can't you do the same for your kids? You would be forgiven for being a little confused about whether or not you can buy your children prescription glasses online. Throughout this article, we will shed some light on the topic and outline for you the reasons why it is not possible to purchase kid’s prescription glasses online with us, and the issues surrounding this topic. 


Kid's prescription glasses - is it illegal to buy them online?

The most obvious thing for us to mention is the legality. In the UK, it is illegal to buy prescription glasses online for kids under the age of 16. Whatever age the recipient is, prescription lenses are considered medical devices. As outlined here, they are therefore treated as such and only a registered optician can provide them to anyone under the age of 16, the sight-impaired or the blind. The same way that only a registered doctor can provide you with medical prescriptions.


The law surrounding this isn’t just there to make things more inconvenient though. These regulations are in place for good reason and to protect children and their eyesight. Under 16’s can only be seen by a registered optician in person so that they can fit the glasses in line with their growing facial features and developing visual systems during a full consultation. It is not possible to do this online as explained here. With a full consultation, the margin for error when dispensing children's glasses is reduced and avoids the issues that can happen as a result of wearing the incorrect prescription lenses. Many factors help to bring context to the regulations and make them much more understandable.

Children's prescription glasses

One of the reasons that it is so crucial for kids’ prescription glasses to fit properly is to ensure that they are sitting on the face in such a way that they are looking through the lens correctly. The corrective power of the glasses comes from the middle of the lens and that is why it must be positioned accurately so that the line of sight passes through the lens naturally. Pupillary distance, in other words, the distance between the two pupils of your eyes, plays a huge role in this. While we take great pride in our pupillary distance measurement tool for adults, it can be more tricky with children. To guarantee accurate results, it must be carried out by a professional optician in person. 


It is important that if anything is off with a prescription, it be remedied as soon as possible. Children are less likely to realise or take note of their prescription being incorrect and let a carer know to get it adjusted. Wearing the incorrect prescription could lead to a list of issues that you want to steer clear of. Nausea, eye strain, fatigue, vertigo, headaches, and blurry vision are all possible harmful effects of not using the correct prescription lenses. A professional optician can help to combat these potential problems by assessing the individual needs of the child and recommending the most-suited frame and lens material/type. For example, if the child spends a lot of time looking at a screen during virtual classes perhaps, blue light blocking lenses may be advised.



So to recap, the reason you cannot purchase prescription lenses for your children under 16 online with us, is primarily because it would be against the law and we always do the best thing for our customers. We make sure to state this information clearly in our terms and conditions and the prescription upload section during the ordering process. To make sure your child receives all the necessary support and attention, please see a registered optician in person.

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