Reader question: glasses and physical activity classes

I just got this question from Jenny.  Her daughter is almost 4 and has just (this weekend) gotten glasses for strabismus, amblyopia, and farsightedness.  She’s wondering whether her daughter should wear her glasses in her gymnastics and skating classes.  She was also thinking of signing her up for skiing class this winter, but is hesitant now with her daughter in glasses.  What, if any, physical activities has your child done with glasses?  Any constraints or tips?

8 responses to “Reader question: glasses and physical activity classes

  1. My son..3..has experienced all manner of impact..tripping, sporting…gravitational.

    Some better, some worse.

    Latesta bash to the orbit when he fell in his preschools playground, driving the lens into the orbit. He’s ok..though slightly racoonish in that area. : )

    Seriously, he’s embarked recently in some toddler oriented sports activities..and overall is none the worse for wear.

    His condition doesnt really warrant rough and tumble…but then again, how do you stop a child from the experiene of being a child..? Cant. Injuries, no matter how well defended against..will find a way. We’ve had some pretty good bumps..up to and including stitches… but doing fine..


    • George, your stories about your son always leave me smiling. I particularly like the “all manner of impact..tripping, sporting…gravitational.”


  2. We’ve done gymnastics, dance, soccer, and more. (Our first tennis lesson is on Friday – wish us luck!) I wouldn’t dream of taking her glasses off for the classes, as it allows her to see the teacher and participate easier. I do make sure if the class is indoors that we do a walk around the classroom prior to class and point out things that may be potential dangers and help her orient herself to the room. I also make contact with the teacher prior to the class and let them know how she sees best. We did have an issue in dance class where she was acting up and not follwing directions – sure enough, the teacher had her in the back row with another child blocking her view. I just reminded the teacher that she sees best 6 inches from her face and that she needs to be right up front. Hopefully, no more behavior problems this week! The soccer was hard and we ended up using her prescription sunglasses because it was soooo sunny. Not sure how the glasses work skiing in the cold since we are still in tank-tops and shorts down here!


  3. My daughter Emma had just turned 4 when she got her glasses and was already in a gymnastics class at the time. Her PO told us it was fine to take her glasses off for the class if we wanted (she is farsighted) and that is what we did in the beginning. (She was very self-conscious about her glasses when she got them and I wanted to give her some time to adjust.) After about a month, though, she said she wanted to wear her glasses for class so I talked to her teachers. We were fortunate that one of her teachers wore glasses and she helped make sure Emma could participate without a problem.

    Emma also played soccer and participated in a Sports of all Sorts class through our local YMCA. She did fine in both, although I will admit I was a bit worried about her at times! She currently takes ballet and we have not had any problems or issues.

    To tell you the truth, she has sustained more damage to her glasses from preschool mishaps than she has from any classes or sports. Oh and a collision once with her brother….have to watch that Wii!!!


  4. Well, my daughter has done a little bit of dance class but not tumbling/gymnastics with her glasses.

    However, she just started… ICE HOCKEY and even with a face cage and helmet the glasses are a danger.

    I ordered her REC SPECS JR size with her prescription lenses in them. You can order them online (I got mine at because my local eyeglass shop didn’t have them in her size and would have to order them and a little birdie told me that I could get them for 1/2 their price by ordering them directly.

    I also want to get her a pair of prescription swim goggles for the summer since swimming was very challenging for her glasses on.


  5. This summer and fall we had Anna in both swim lessons and tumbling and she wore her glasses for both. Sometimes the tumbling makes me a little nervous – a few running face-plants – but she’s only gotten the typical 2 1/2 yr old bumps. It would be much, much worse without her glasses since she tends to walk into things and trip a LOT more. So overall, the glasses have not been a hindrance.


  6. C is 2.5 y.o., and we’ve had her in a toddler gym type of class since 1 y.o. She’s worn her glasses the entire time in the class.

    We just started her on a mini-tots ballet class, and she keeps her glasses on.

    I have never really considered taking off her glasses for any of her activities. If/when she has swimming lessons in the future, I will probably get her goggles. She is farsighted so probably need to see up close for swimming.


  7. FYI for all you mom’s that are interested in swimming goggles… my daughter is farsighted with strabismus and we got her the HILCO Junior prescription goggles from They have been wonderful! We live in Hawaii, she is in the pool or ocean constantly, and they have made a world of difference. Not only are they great in the water, but she is so much safer when she is out of the water and walking on the pool deck or up the beach.
    She also participates in ballet, and we have had no problems with her glasses, other than a little girl who is constantly trying to grab them off of her face :~)


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