By Deirdre Carroll: Senior Editor

Youngsters, kids, Urkel, students, rug rats, Glee’s Artie Abrams, tykes, schoolboys, tots, young’uns, Daria, school girls, bambinos, McLovin’, little ones, Harry Potter, ankle biters, small fries, Leonard from the Big Bang Theory and studious children around the country.

WHAT: Kids in glasses are to school what clouds are to the sky; they are ubiquitous and rarely are two ever the same. This time of year, parents all over the country are dragging kids into optical shops to get them ready for a new year of blackboards and back packs. Luckily, eyewear designers are continuing to up the style ante on children’s frames with bright shades, color blocking and pattern play.

(Clockwise from top center) The Tommy Hilfiger TH1145 from Safilo features several bright, contrasting color options; this one pairs a translucent cornflower blue front with attention getting opaque orange temples. Many pinks can be a bit too twee; the Skechers SK1511 from Viva International avoids that overly sweet trap by making the front of the frame a dusty pink and layering it with some super on trend teal; high fashion for the recess set. Ensuring that the toddler horde isn’t left out, the brand new Dilli Dalli collection from ClearVision Optical offers those 3 months to 3 years fresh, hip frame fashion, here the Hot Shot whose blue cable temple tips cap off the “I’ve got a rattle and I’m not afraid to use it” camouflage temples. It’s kind of surprising that a brand so closely associated with childhood didn’t already have an eyewear line but that was exactly the case for Crayola until Colors in Optics stepped in. Like a box of crayons, their brand new collection features vibrant pops of bold color; here the CR123 pairs a “carnation pink” front with yellow temples.

You don’t have to look very hard to find all sorts of statistics on the trouble kids can have in school when they can’t see properly. Though attitudes are changing, a lot of kids are still unhappy or reluctant about wearing glasses. The key is providing them cool options they are excited about wearing. Luckily, many eyewear companies are really focusing on this segment of the market and dedicating time and resources to ensuring their children’s offerings are not only durable and fit right, but make a kid want to put them on. For more stats and facts on childrens’ eyewear purchasing patterns, see page 22.