Contact lenses can be a great option for kids. While there's no magic age, children as young as 8 years of age can benefit from wearing contacts.
As a general rule, we encourage parents to wait until their child expresses interest in contact lenses – not the other way around. This is one of those times that it is best if it is the child's idea.
And, before you have an open discussion with your child, consider what the experts have to say.
From the FDA:
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates contact lenses and certain contact lens care products as medical devices. Contact lenses have benefits. They can be better for sports activities, because they don’t break as frames and the lenses of glasses can. In some cases, contact lenses improve the quality of vision in comparison to eyeglasses, especially for a child who is very nearsighted.
Contact lenses should be used safely, responsibly, and only under the supervision of your eye care professional. Otherwise, serious injury to the eye can result, particularly if the contact lenses are not removed at the first hint of a problem.”
What to Consider
Once a child has expressed interest in wearing contact lenses and you’ve considered the FDA’s advice, there are several things to consider:
First and foremost – how responsible, or mature, is the child? Remember these are the child's contact lenses – not yours.
Secondly, how motivated is the child? This is a great opportunity to have a conversation about why they want to wear contacts. Is it because they are involved in playing sports? Or did their best friend start wearing contacts?
If you and your child have discussed contact lens wear, and you're ready for the next step – give us a call. We are happy to continue the conversation with your child, and help them become a successful contact lens wearer.