Among the many questions and apprehensions that a parent faces as their children grow up, is what is the right age for kids to move on to contact lenses. While many children’s eye care specialists advocate that a child as young as 11 years old can benefit from wearing contact lenses it is important to know that each child is different and handles responsibilities differently. A parent should carefully assess their child’s level of responsibility before allowing the child to graduate into wearing lenses.
J Walline, assistant professor at Ohio State University states that “wearing contact lenses can instill confidence in a young child and help her perform better. However the child must also be able to understand the importance of caring for their lenses and eyes”.
Here are a few questions that can help you decide if your child is ready to see an eyecare specialist to get a prescription for contact lenses.
Does your child complete small chores without having repeatedly asked to do so?
Children who are responsible about small chores and keep you informed about their whereabouts will be responsible and diligent about their lenses too.
Is your child clean and hygienic?
Being clean and maintaining good hygiene is important with regards to children’s eye care and use of lenses as well. Poor hygiene and lack of care towards lenses can lead to eye infections. A child who cannot remember to take off her lenses or clean them properly may not be ready for lenses yet.
Is your child unhappy with her glasses?
A child who is unhappy with their glasses is more likely to take good care of their contact lenses to avoid having to switch back to eye glasses.
Can your child understand and follow instructions given by an eye doctor?
This is very important as the child needs to be able to store the lenses properly and be able to properly put them on and take them off. While putting the lenses on the wrong side may not cause damage to the eyes it can cause discomfort and redness of the eyes.
Does your child love sports?
A child who is actively involved in sports can benefit from wearing sports contact lenses. These lenses provide better peripheral vision as well as unobstructed field view which will help your child excel in sports.