The phrase “contacts for children” sounds like an oxymoron. Kids and delicate contacts don’t go together … or do they?
Surprisingly, eye doctors successfully fit children as young as 8 years old with contacts. In rare instances, some babies are even fitted with contacts from infancy to treat certain conditions. You don’t have to be an adult to enjoy the benefits of wearing contacts — you just have to know how to take care of them (and maybe have a parent available to help).
Before you talk to your eye doctor about your options concerning contacts for children, ask yourself the three questions below about your child.
How Old Are They?
Contacts for children work at any age, but most eyeglass wearers make the switch between the ages of 11 and 14. If your elementary-school-aged child wants a change sooner than this, you need to assess how ready they are based on additional evidence.
How Mature Are They?
Do you have to constantly remind them to carry out other daily tasks? Contacts for children don’t function any differently than adult contacts. Kids have to take care of their contacts, and they may not be ready for this responsibility if they have trouble remembering to do other important chores.
Why Do They Want to Switch?
It’s important to find out why your child wants to make the switch. A highly motivated child is much more likely to be responsible with their contacts and follow the eye doctor’s instructions.
Many children decide they no longer like the look of glasses. Some notice their glasses interfere with their performance while playing sports.
Contacts provide better peripheral vision, which can enhance a child’s abilities when it comes to certain activities, and they also help boost self-confidence.
Children are much less likely than adults to have any side effects from contacts. They aren’t as bothered by dry eye, and when they take ownership of their contacts, they adapt better to new daily routines, making it more likely they will carefully clean and correctly wear their lenses.
Make Sure They Know the Guidelines
To ensure your child will be a smart and safe contact-lens wearer for years to come, have your eye doctor fill them in on the rules regarding contact lenses:
- Never share contacts with someone else
- Always disinfect them with saline solution (don’t use spit or water)
- Put on makeup only after contacts are in place
- Never use decorative contact lenses not prescribed by the doctor
- Never sleep with lenses in
- Talk to parents or your eye doctor if you feel itching or burning in your eyes
At Salt Lake Eye Associates, we fill in parents and kids on the benefits of contacts for children. We outfit your son or daughter with everything they need to successfully make the switch from eyeglasses. Contact us today to set up an appointment!