What Age Can Your Child Get Contacts?
Does your child refuse to wear their glasses? Or, were they just prescribed eyeglasses, but maybe they would prefer to wear contacts? In either case, the question arises – what is the appropriate age to introduce a child to contact lenses?
According to a recent study by the American Optometric Association, 51% of optometrists feel it is appropriate to introduce children to soft contact lenses between the ages of 10 to 12 years old. Nearly 23% believe age 13 to 14 years old is the appropriate age, and 12% believe children younger than nine can be introduced to contact lenses.
As you notice, there isn’t a specific age that is a clear determination that your child is ready to be prescribed contact lenses. Optometrists take into consideration a child’s maturity level, ability to take care of the contacts, hygiene habits, sports participation, and a child’s prescription requirements before prescribing contacts, no matter the age.
So, are contact lenses appropriate for your child?
Before you talk to your child’s optometrist, evaluate how well your child handles their responsibilities like hygiene. As a parent, you are extremely busy and may not have the time to continually look over your child’s shoulder to ensure they are taking care of their contacts correctly.
Children tend to find many ways to be less than hygienic, and it can be extremely dangerous if that rolls over into their contact lens care. Common, risky behaviors include wearing another child’s lens, using their saliva to moisten a lens, and wearing decorative lenses that were not prescribed by an optometrist. These behaviors can result in severe eye injuries.
If considering contact lenses, your child should be able to follow the following safety tips.
- Thoroughly wash and dry hands before handling contact lenses
- Regularly clean contact lenses by rinsing and soaking in multipurpose solution each night
- Store lenses in the proper case
- Clean storage case after each use and replace every 3 months
- Use fresh solution daily
- Replace contacts as prescribed by the doctor
- Remove contact lenses before swimming, entering a hot tub, or going to a waterpark
- Visit Vision Associates for for regularly scheduled eye examinations
From different materials, designs, and parameters, there has never been more variety in contact lenses than there is now. If your child does not follow the do’s and don’ts of contact lenses, they could be damaging their eyes. To safely wear contact lenses, they must be committed to caring for them properly and replacing them when needed.
To learn more about contact lenses or if they are right for your child, call Vision Associates at 419-578-2020 (Toledo) or 419-354-3926 (Bowling Green).