Is my child ready for contacts? Have they asked about them? Do they play sports? How old are they? These are all good initial queries to help answer the original question on many parents’ minds. Let’s get some honest answers.
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly About Contact Lenses
Contacts are a medical device and must be handled with special care. Statistics tell us that the average age a young person starts to wear contact lenses is 13, but kids as young as 8 can safely wear them too.
The Good Part
The benefits of wearing contacts include the following:
- Safe when cared for properly.
- Can help improve school work.
- Boosts self esteem and self-confidence.
- Safer for children playing on the playground or participating in contact sports.
- Better peripheral vision than glasses, which can help improve athletic performance.
- Children will be more compliant is motivation is high.
- Many children see better with contacts than with glasses.
The Bad Part
It’s important to note the following:
- A child who is not mature enough to handle contacts can cause damage to their eyes.
- Complications from improper care can occur.
- Children who suffer from seasonal allergies are not good candidates for contacts.
The Ugly Part
Improper care or handling can lead to serious damage to your child’s eyes like corneal abrasions, vision loss infections, and ulcers.
Maturity Vs Age
The first consideration to determine if your child is ready for contacts is their maturity level. Unfortunately, maturity and age do not go hand-in-hand. Even some adults can be less mature or responsible about handling their contact lenses than an 11 year old child.
Observe how your child handles their normal responsibilities. Things like good hygiene, washing their hands throughout the day, brushing their teeth twice a day without prompting, completing homework, and making their bed are all good indications they will handle the necessary responsibilities of contact lens care.
Ask Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Associates to give you a written list of safety tips for wearing contact lenses. Take it home and discuss with your child whether they feel confident they can adhere to them.
Only you, your child, in conjunction with Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Associates, can decide if your child is ready for contacts. Schedule a visit at our office in Newtown Square, PA to discuss.
Some good news: if it doesn’t work out, they can go back to glasses and wait a few years to try again.