Is My Kid Ready for Contact Lenses?

Almost all children who need vision correction start out with glasses, but it isn’t long before they learn about contact lenses. Many want to switch to contacts so they don’t have to wear glasses. Contact lenses aren’t as fragile as glasses,  so kids don’t have to worry about them breaking while engaged in sports or playing with friends. Our family optometrist Lawrence clinic notes that success at switching depends on a few key factors:

Is Your Child Able to Handle Contact Lenses Properly?

There is no set age at which a child is ready to switch to contact lenses. Instead, it depends on the child’s physical, mental, and emotional maturity. This is because contacts need to be used properly in order to provide vision correction without the risk of infection and other problems.

If the child is to wear contacts without an adult’s help, he or she must be physically mature enough to have the dexterity needed to insert and remove the lenses. This is likely the easiest factor to determine.

Contact lenses also need to be kept clean in order to avoid eye infections. The simplest way to ensure that basic cleanliness is maintained is to use lenses that are changed for new ones on a daily basis. Children also need to be conscientious enough to clean their hands before inserting lenses and to clean the lenses if they happen to pop out onto the floor.

Why Switch to Contacts?

Most kids want to switch so that they look like they aren’t using vision correction, but this is just one of the reasons to choose contacts. Contact Lenses don’t break while playing and, and in some cases, are harder to lose than glasses. They can even slow the progression of child eye diseases, like myopia. Therefore, they can be superior for practical as well as aesthetic reasons.

What Are the Basic Requirements for Switching?

A great place to start is a pediatric eye exam, that our Lawrence doctors provide. Contact lens exams measure the curvature of the eye as well as the needed corrective strength, so, unfortunately, your child’s old eyeglasses prescription might be out of date. Once the exam is complete, our doctors will prescribe the best type of lenses for your child.

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