Frequently Asked Questions About Kids Wearing Contact Lenses
If your child requires vision correction, prescription eyeglasses may be the first thing that comes to mind. However, eyeglasses may not work for every child, especially those involved in sports or who simply feel physically or socially uncomfortable in eyeglasses. The good news is that kids can wear contact lenses safely with a little training and supervision. Here are some of the most common questions we hear as eye care providers. In fact, some contact lenses can even prevent the prescription from getting worse over time.
Q: At what age can kids start wearing contact lenses?
A: There is no one right age when kids can start wearing contact lenses. What matters more is that your child is responsible enough to wear them safely. If your child can follow instructions from you and their eye doctor as well as the instructions that come with their lenses, then they should be able to wear contact lenses without concern. In general, this will be in a child’s pre-teen or early teen years, somewhere between 10 and 14, although this varies from kid to kid.
Q: What if my child doesn’t follow instructions for proper lens care?
A: It’s essential to supervise your child’s contact lens wear, at least at first, until you are confident that they will be consistent with lens care. Lenses that aren’t cleaned properly can become breeding grounds for bacteria. The result can be a painful eye infection that can even lead to vision loss. Make sure that your child washes their hands before handling their lenses, that they always place their lenses in a clean case filled with fresh solution, and that they use only contact lens solution for cleaning (not tap water). Also, make sure that they don’t sleep in their lenses, which can lead to infection and other complications unless otherwise instructed.
Q: Do kids have more problems related to contact lenses than adults?
A: Not necessarily. A child who follows proper lens care guidelines is at no higher risk of complications than an older teen or adult. Age alone does not make a person more or less susceptible to problems from wearing contact lenses.
Q: Should my child wear disposable contact lenses?
A: Daily disposable lenses are the best option for children as it is a clean, new lens every day. Although more expensive than bi-weekly or monthly disposable lenses, it may be worth the investment for your child.
Q: What are the benefits of contact lenses for children?
A: There are many reasons that you may want to allow your child to wear contact lenses in place of eyeglasses. For many kids, wearing glasses is a source of self-consciousness. Contact lenses can give them a self-esteem boost and make them feel better about their appearance. Contacts can also give children more freedom in their activities. For example, a child who wears contact lenses can play sports without worrying about losing or breaking their eyeglasses.
Related resources: 6 Things You Need to Know About Your Child’s Vision Development
If your child is interested in wearing contact lenses for the first time, contact us. We’ll be happy to schedule an eye exam and contact lens fitting, as well as discussing the risks, benefits, and importance of proper lens care with your child. We will try a diagnostic trial lens first to assess the fit, comfort, and vision. If all goes well, we’ll order a supply of lenses to help keep your child happy, healthy, and seeing clearly.
Check out this video for how to apply contact lenses for kids