I’ve worn glasses my whole entire life, and up until now, have been the only one in my family who needed them. Then, in the middle of the school year, we learned my youngest daughter needed glasses — reading glasses, specifically.

It’s an issue that often goes undetected in kids because it’s a “+” prescription and will not show up on a school or pediatrician eye exam. Plus, the symptoms are a little different than near-sightedness, so when she kept complaining that her eyes were getting blurry after awhile, or that she felt like she couldn’t focus, I wrote it off as too much screen time.


If only I had known about our sponsor JCPenney Optical back then, I could have saved myself a whole lot of time and money. Like literally $450 worth of savings, thanks to their $39.99 Back to School Glasses for Kids sale which makes purchasing glasses sooooo much more affordable for parents. Especially during this busy back-to-school season when we’re buying so many other things they need too.

So now that I’ve joined the world of parents who need to buy kids’ glasses,  I want to share 5 things parents should know before buying glasses for your kids. These tips come from Shawn, the expert optical tech at the JCPenney Optical near me.

And I must say, all of these tips were surprising to even this lifelong eyeglass wearer! Be sure to read them be sure you spend a penny. Really.  -Kristen

The JCPenney Optical $39.99 Back to School Glasses Sale | Sponsor

Yes, this is my receipt. So, no strings here! 


1. Kids should get an eye exam every year

My youngest daughter came home with a note from school explaining that she had been placed in Title I reading. I figured that it couldn’t hurt to get her eyes checked, even though she wasn’t presenting with typical symptoms (squinting, sitting close to the TV) and she’d always had 20/20 vision at her doctor visits.

So I took her and welp, she needed glasses!

Let’s just say I learned this lesson the hard way; I had incorrectly assumed that the pediatrician eye exam and the school test were ample enough for a diagnosis.

Fortunately, exams are just $60 at JCPenney Optical, which is pretty affordable for those of us who don’t have vision insurance. Walk-ins are even welcome if they have time available, or you can easily call to make an appointment. Do it!

Especially since you may realize you want to sign up for vision insurance next time re-enrollment comes around.

2. Kids really need kids’ frames

5 things parents should know before getting glasses for kids: Kids need kid frames | Sponsor

Kids’ glasses frames aren’t just adult frames in smaller sizes.

In fact, kids’ glasses frames are generally made to be sturdier, complete with spring hinges to connect to the arms. Because, no surprise here, kids are pretty rough on glasses as they are with everything, really.

Plastic frames are easier to replace and fix than metal, and don’t involve a lot of small parts, so that’s a good way to go for your child’s first pair of glasses. But, if you have an older child or a kid who isn’t super rough and tumble, and they’re dying for those metal frames, go for it. You know your kids best.

Clearly, I do not have a wire frames family. Ha.


About our sponsor

JCPenney Optical Back to School Sale | Sponsor

Whether you’re purchasing your child’s first pair of glasses, or you need to grab a couple of extras for your seasoned little glasses wearer, JCPenney Optical is your one-stop shop for affordable $60 eye exams and stylish glasses for the whole family.

And now with their $39.99 Back to School Glasses for Kids sale, you can outfit your own kids without breaking the bank! It includes a large selection of cool frames from popular brands like Converse, DKNY, and Nicole by Nicole Miller (this offer includes frames all under $100), and all their frames include polycarbonate, scratch-resistant, impact-resistant lenses, plus a one-year eyewear protection plan.

You also have the option to upgrade to different lens coatings depending on your child’s own needs.

Visit a JCPenney Optical near you, or shop online at JCPenneyOptical.com to set up an appointment or find affordable, stylish kids’ glasses that are meant just for them. Offers and selections not valid at Nationwide Vision inside JCPenney stores.


3. An optical technician should make sure kids’ glasses frames fit…even before you buy them.

5 things you need to know before you get glasses for kids: Fit matters | Sponsor

I was happy to let my daughter pick the frames she wanted for her glasses on our trip to JCPenney Optical, and it turns out we were able to make sure they actually fit her face before we bought them.

Read that again: before we bought them.

Don’t just pick a pair off the shelf then have their prescription put in! An experienced optical technician like Shawn (he was so great!) will take a look at the pairs your child likes and advise you as to whether they’re the right size for their nose and head shape before you move onto the rest of the process.

It’s so important to be sure the frames fit your kid properly before their glasses are made, because no amount of tinkering or MacGyvering after the fact is going to help. And the point of glasses is that your kids will actually wear them, right?

4. Fit is important after you buy kids’ glasses, too

When you pick up your glasses, it’s important to take a moment to ensure they’re fitted properly to your child’s face. So try them on before you leave the store.

But even after that, you’ll want to keep an eye on those frames after your child has worn them for a period of time.

The number one sign of glasses that don’t fit correctly? Your child pushing them up on their face constantly. If you seem them doing this, it’s important to return to the store where you purchases your kids’ eyeglasses and have them fitted.

If you happen to be in a JCPenney that has a JCPenney Optical store on site, just pop in there and they’ll fit those glasses for you for free — whether you purchased your glasses there or not. Isn’t that so nice?

5. “Two hands on, two hands off.”

How to teach kids about caring for glasses | Sponsor

Even though you only paid $39.99 for your glasses (at least if you bought them through the JCPenney Optical sale!), your kids should still have a complete understanding of how to care for their own glasses by themselves.

The number one rule: Two hands on, Two hands off.

It turns out that taking your glasses off using one hand stretches them out, meaning you’ll need to return to your optician more frequently to have them fixed.

Also, another great saying I learned from Shawn: If they’re not on your face, they’re in your case. Say it over and over, because not only will they be easier to find in the case, they’re less likely to get broken.

And finally, steer clear of wiping them clean with paper products like tissues, and definitely don’t use Windex or ammonia. A simple microfiber cloth, which you’ll receive with every glasses purchase at JCPenney Optical, is the best way to keep your glasses clean without scratching your lenses.

After all, as easy as it is to buy stylish, great-fitting kids’ glasses at JCPenney, we’d like to do it as little as possible!

JCPenney Optical Back to School Glasses for Kids sale | Sponsor

Thanks to our sponsor JCPenney Optical for making glasses so much more affordable for families. Be sure to visit your local JCPenney Optical or visit JCPenneyOptical.com to get in on their $39.99 Back to School Glasses for Kids sale. Sale ends 9/30. Offers and selections not valid at Nationwide Vision inside JCPenney stores.