Is My Child Old Enough for Contacts?

November 08, 2016

Children who wear glasses often eventually have a desire to switch to contacts. There can be many reasons for this switch- self-confidence, sports safety, or even slight medical advantages. Whatever the reason, you may find yourself wondering if your child is really ready to make the jump to contacts. Here are some ways to tests that, and some benefits you may not have known about.

Knowing Your Child is Ready

The most indicative measure of whether a child is ready to switch to contacts is to evaluate their maturity. Do they remember to wash their hands before meals on their own? Do they have good personal grooming habits? If they are able to handle these small responsibilities, they may be able to handle the level of care wearing contacts requires.

Improved Self Confidence

Many children do not like the way they look in glasses, and can become overly self conscious about how they look wearing them. The switch to contact lenses often gives them a confidence boost which in some cases motivates kids to be more outgoing and participate in activities with more confidence.

Wearing Contacts for Sports

Contacts can be very beneficial when playing sports. With glasses, even impact resistant lenses, there is a constant worry about the lenses or frames breaking due to impact and causing an injury. During humid or sweaty moments, lenses can fog up and and compromise vision and importance. Wearing contact lenses can lessen your worries about injury, and improve peripheral vision. This allows your child to react faster to things, whether they are people or soccer balls, coming from the side.

Contacts for Nearsightedness

In some cases, children with nearsightedness can benefit from slowed progression of nearsightedness when wearing contacts. A number of recent studies have found that specially designed gas permeable contact lenses and multifocal soft contacts can provide a significant amount of myopia control in many nearsighted children.

They Will Still Need Glasses

If you choose to get contact for your child, it is important they understand that they will still need to wear glasses to let their eyes rest. Contacts should be removed an hour before bed to allow the eyes time to breathe. Additionally, it is important to keep your child’s glasses prescription up to date, even if they are only wearing them at bedtime.

Don’t Push Children

Another key indicator to whether a child is ready for contacts is how motivated they are. If they actively ask for contacts, they have taken the first step. Parent may want their children to wear contacts, but the child may not show any interest. Contacts should not be forced onto a child. Appropriate timing is key. Your child may not show any interest in wanting contacts now, but could change their mind in a month or even a year.

Contact lenses have their benefits, but the daily maintenance required to wear them safely may be a little too much for some children to handle. If you think your child may be ready to try contacts, schedule an appointment with their ophthalmologist to make sure they are a candidate.

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