Caring for contacts is challenging no matter what age you are, so is it okay for children to use contacts? This question gets asked by thousands of parents each year, and there is no right or wrong answer to this debate. Many children start wearing contacts at a young age, learning to care for them as they would learn any daily routine. While forming habits at an early age has been proven to be effective, it also places kids at a greater risk for eye infection if contact lenses are not properly cared for.
How do I Know When Contacts are Right for my child?
Just as there is a right time for your child to learn to ride a bike, there is a right time for them to start wearing contacts. If your child easily remembers daily routines and keeps clean while doing so, it may be okay for them to wear contacts. A good sign is if your child effortlessly brushes their teeth each day and night without having to be reminded by their peers. While independence is a good sign your child is ready for contacts, some parents choose to start their child on contact lenses from a very young age with parental assistance. Much like a parent would help their young child brush their teeth, they can assist their child in learning how to apply and wear contact lenses, so long as daily care and cleaning is accounted for. Your child’s lifestyle factors should also be taken into account. While sports eyeglasses are manufactured, most children who participate in athletic events will find it much easier to run and jump wearing contacts than they would wearing any type of glasses.
Additional considerations should be made for children who simply don’t want to wear glasses. While children are much less likely to get the dreaded “four eyes” nickname these days due to glasses being more fashionable, most children would still prefer contacts over glasses. This is especially true of older children and teenagers who become more self conscious about their image as they grow older.
Advances in Lens Technology Assist Children
While contact lenses may have been tough to care for in the past, one option that was previously not available is daily disposable contact lenses. Many feel daily disposable contacts are the best option for kids, as wearing daily disposables are as easy as applying the lens in the morning, and taking the lens out at night. This eliminates risk of contamination, minimizes problems with misplaced or torn lenses, and makes lens wear nearly as easy as wearing glasses.
For children who don’t want daily disposable contacts, lens cleaning solution has also advanced in recent years, making daily lens care easier, and more kid friendly.
Making the Decision
Making the decision to give your kids contact lenses can be difficult. Most children will ask for contacts when they feel they’re ready, and some may even prefer wearing glasses. As with anything, it’s important to consult your doctor about making the switch from eyeglasses to contacts, and they should be able to help your child properly learn contact lens care if they do decide to make the switch.
Great Products for Children’s Contacts
There are a few really great products for children who are first-time contact lens users. One product that can really help children remember lens cleaning and replacement is the Lens Alert! Timer Pack, which features fun cases with unique timers and counters that remind your children when to clean and replace their contacts. Additional to kid-friendly lens cases, some children may benefit from contact lens removers, which assist in the insertion and removal of contacts, while ensuring that their lenses go in the proper way every time.