Wow, another summer has almost flown by. I can’t believe we are almost into September and I am sure parents can’t either. Back to school time can bring on a flurry of emotions for both children and parents. This year your child may ask you, “Can I wear contacts lenses?” Many parents are unsure about how to answer this question, so this week’s article is going to help educate you on when your child may be ready for contact lenses!
“Mom I hate my glasses, I want to wear contacts!”
When Is My Child Ready For Contact Lenses?
At some point, parents of children who wear corrective glasses may need to make a decision on when their children are ready to make the switch to contact lenses. It can be a hard decision as good hygiene is critical while wearing contacts.
Although contact lenses can be physically worn at any age, the choice to wear them at a younger age requires some considerations. Some of the things parents should consider include the following:
- Is your child responsible enough? Contact lenses require wearers to ensure they are only wearing them for the recommended amount of time. For example, there are daily disposables, bi-weekly, or monthlies. It may be a good idea to start your child off on a daily disposable to prevent wear over the recommended period.
- Does your child have good hygiene? Children will need to ensure contacts are not worn while sleeping, handled with clean hands, and among other things properly stored. If you think your child can handle the responsibility that comes with wearing contacts then you should allow them to try them for a period of time and see how they do.
- Why do they want to wear contacts? What is motivating your child to make the switch, is it a sport, or simply aesthetic reasons? Knowing can help determine the appropriate type of contacts your child may be suited for.
Understanding and assessing your child’s maturity, hygiene, and motivation can help determine if they are ready for contact lenses. AllAboutVision.com states:
“…in a recent study that involved fitting nearsighted children of ages 8-11 with one-day disposable contact lenses, 90 percent of the kids had no trouble applying or removing the contacts without assistance from their parents.”
It is clear that young children can responsibly wear contact lenses. So if you think your child is ready, what are the next steps?
How To Get Fitted With Contact Lenses?
Firstly, all candidates for contact lenses need to ensure they have an up-to-date comprehensive eye exam. This will ensure that the contacts being prescribed will correct any vision issues and also that the candidate does not have any eye health issues that need to be addressed or prevent her from wearing contacts.
Once your family eye doctor has checked your child’s eyes, a fitting will be scheduled. Ensure to tell front desk if you would like to schedule a fitting after your child’s eye exam, so an appointment can be made for the same day. During a fitting, the most appropriate contacts for your child’s eyes will be recommended. During this time, your child will be shown how to wear her contacts, proper removal, and among other things care. A follow-up appointment may be scheduled to ensure the contacts are doing their very best to help your child see comfortably.
We love helping our littlest of patients see comfortably and clearly!