Dispensing Bifocals to Children

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When dispensing bifocals to children, the top edge of the bifocal segment must bisect the pupil, or sit 1-2mm below it when the child is looking straight ahead. (Figure A). Recommended segments are either large D segments, spanning the lens, or executive (E) segments.

Fig A

The dispensing objectives for children’s’ bifocals are:
• The segment should be wide enough so the child cannot peep around it
• The segment should be easily found when the child looks down to read.
• The segment should be high enough to discourage lowering of the head to view close work through the distance portion of the lens.
• The segment should be low enough to leave enough distance portion depth for good general mobility.

Please do not fit bifocal heights as for adults, as they are of no functional benefit to the child (Figure B).

Fig B