Contact Lenses: How Old Should Your Child Be?

Generally, people don't think about contact lenses as corrective eyewear for children. However, they are just as beneficial for children as they are adults. In fact, contacts may be easier for children to manage if they have incredibly active lifestyles. Plus, there is always the cosmetic benefit to consider. While there are enticing benefits to opting for contacts over eyeglasses, you also want to ensure that your child is at the right age to begin wearing contacts. If you are thinking about contact lenses for your child, here are a few things to take into consideration.

Your Child's Age

It is often said that children are ready for contacts between about 10 and 12 years old or so. However, every child is different, and there have been many technological and medical advancements over the years that have improved the ease of use and comfort of contacts. Due to the fact that there is no clear set of guidelines on when you should introduce your child to corrective eyewear solutions, pediatric eye doctors and parents need to consider other factors aside from just age.

Motivation and Level of Maturity

In order for your child to be ready to wear contact lenses on a regular basis, he or she must be ready to do so. If your child is not interested in switching from eyeglasses to contacts or wearing contacts at all, then your child will have a very hard time adjusting to the change. Your child will also find it very difficult to care for the contacts. If your child has the motivation to wear the contacts, then you need to make sure that you consider his or her level of maturity. Children who practice proper hygiene are good candidates, as they are more likely to adopt the necessary practices to keep their contacts in a good, safe condition.

Involvement in Sports

It can be awkward and bothersome to wear eyeglasses, especially for the student athlete. With contact lenses, however, your student athlete would no longer have to worry about his or her eyeglasses falling down or off and breaking during practice or a game. He or she also wouldn't have to worry about the glasses fogging up, which means your child could maintain clear vision at all times — even if protective goggles are being worn also.

Nearsightedness Diagnosis

Children who have been diagnosed with nearsightedness could greatly benefit from wearing contact lenses, especially at an early age. Similar to eyeglasses, contacts can help your child see objects closer up. In addition, there are specially designed contact lenses that can help in the reshaping of the cornea, which will gradually correct the eye condition.

If you would like to learn more, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss whether contacts are right for your child at this time.