I spy with my little eyes: The essentials of paediatric dispensing

About the session

CPD ref: C-108308


Dispensing well-fitting glasses for paediatric patients is of the utmost importance for their visual development and comfort. This hands-on workshop will consider the main facial differences between adults and children and how this should be reflected in the choice of frame that is dispensed. During the session, participants will consider three different paediatric case studies, and for each one, choose the appropriate frame and lenses, take the required measurements, and fit the frame onto a 3D printed head. The case studies will include paediatric conditions that require specialist spectacle fitting and complex prescriptions.

Target audience

  • Optometrist
  • Dispensing optician.

Domains and learning outcomes

Clinical practice

s.5 Keep your knowledge and skills up to date

  • Understands a child’s facial features be able to dispense a range of appropriate frames taking in to consideration the lens form type and positioning in such frames including high powered complex lenses and bifocals and can provide appropriate advice to the parents.
  • Able to interpret a prescription (including complex lenses, multifocals and high corrections) and dispense the most appropriate lens design and frame type suitable for paediatric patients and their demands. Be able to adjust the frame appropriately.

s.6 Recognise, and work within, your limits of competence

  • Understands the different fitting requirements for children and adults be able to reflect on and review current practice when fitting or supervising a child dispense in order to improve quality of fitting and supervision.


s.1 Listen to patients and ensure they are at the heart of decisions made about their care

  • Understands paediatric frame fitting, and so able to explain the importance of accurate frame fitting and lens combinations in a manner appropriate to both the patients and the parent or guardian.

s.2 Communicate effectively with patients

  • Able to communicate in basic terms, that a guardian or parent can understand the most appropriate lens option and care regime for a paediatric aphakic patient.


Jessica Gowing

Jessica is a Senior Dispensing Optician at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). She set up the dispensing service in June 2014 and has since become a specialist in paediatric dispensing. 

Jessica works as part of a multi-disciplinary team along with optometrists, ophthalmologists, and orthoptists, seeing children with a wide range of conditions and complex prescriptions. GOSH is one of only four craniofacial units in the UK and part of Jessica’s role involves dispensing to children with all types of ocular, facial and head shape abnormalities requiring specialist spectacle fitting.