Ask an astronaut: Why polycarbonate lenses are the safest bet for kids

boy running with a football wearing glasses

Eyeglass-related injuries can send tens of thousands of people to the emergency room a year, many of them children.1 Fortunately, some of the best precautions are being molded every day.

Polycarbonate lenses, which are smash resistant, are among the best ways to keep a child’s eyes safe while wearing eyeglasses. They also make practical sense when it comes to eye care for kids. Glasses made with polycarbonate lenses will survive drops on the playground scratch-free, while also providing important ultraviolet protection for those long hours of play.2

But that’s just the start. Below are some of the benefits of polycarbonate lenses and why they may be the best investment a parent can make in a child’s eye care.

Best resin for eye safety

Kids can be pretty rough, and they have a tendency to drop their frames. Polycarbonate eyeglasses help ensure that corrected vision is scratch-free. In fact, polycarbonates are kind of like the ants of the eyeglass world as they are incredibly strong for their weight. Polycarbonate lenses are up to 10 times more break-resistant than plastic or glass lenses, and they provide 100 percent protection from the sun.3 They are also lightweight and thin, so they won’t slow your child down and will be much more comfortable on small noses.4

Because they don’t break or scratch, polycarbonate lenses are easier on your wallet, too. And they have a pretty cool history that your kids will love.

From space to face

With polycarbonates, the sky is literally the limit. The material was originally created to form the canopies covering the cockpits of fighter planes, and since then, it’s been used to make the visors on astronaut helmets and the windshields of space shuttles.5

By the 1980s, polycarbonate was introduced to consumers as a safe alternative to traditional eyeglass lenses. Today polycarbonate is the most-used alternative material for eyeglass lenses.6

Due to their durability, many people fear polycarbonate lenses are more expensive than traditional lenses. This isn’t necessarily the case. While polycarbonate lenses may be slightly pricier than plastic lenses, they are less costly than other hi-index materials, and their durability pays off in the long run.7

Eye doctors agree that when it comes to eyeglasses for kids, polycarbonate lenses are unbeatable and unbreakable. Fortunately, so is the mold that made them.

1 “Look Out! Eyeglass Injuries May Lead to Hospital Visit,” Ohio State Research, May
2 “Eyeglasses and Your Eyes,” WebMD,
3 “Polycarbonate Lenses: Lightweight Comfort. UV Protection. Impact Resistant,” VSP Vision Care,
4 “All About Lenses,” Superior Vision,
5 “Polycarbonate Lenses: Lightweight Comfort. UV Protection. Impact Resistant,” VSP Vision Care,
6 “All About Lenses,” Superior Vision,
7 “How much do polycarbonate glasses lenses cost?”,