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When can children wear contact lenses?

Parents of children with vision problems often worry that they may not be ready for contact lenses, or think that they are only suitable for adults. But the truth is that contact lenses can be worn at any age. You may be surprised to learn that even some infants and toddlers wear contact lenses because of congenital cataracts or eye conditions discovered at birth.

Age does not determine whether a person can or should wear contact lenses; instead, contact lens wear is determined on a case-by-case basis.

So if you’re worried about your child wanting to wear contact lenses instead of glasses, you needn’t be; in fact, there are many benefits for children who wear contact lenses, including the ability to participate in sports and increased self-esteem—just make sure they’re ready for the added responsibility. When can children wear contact lenses?

Playing sport is easier with contact lenses

Wearing contact lenses is not only safer, but children often feel more comfortable participating in sports when they don’t have to worry about something happening to their glasses.

If your child’s glasses break during sports, it can be very costly. Not only that, if the frames snap they can potentially injure your child’s face and eyes. Glasses also tend to get foggy during intense sport, making it harder for your child to see.

Contact lenses give children a sense of freedom and normality, removing any barriers to participation in sports.

Self esteem for children and teenagers

Children—and especially teenagers—are concerned about the way they look and don’t like to look ‘different’ to their peers. If your child feels self-conscious in glasses or simply doesn’t like the way they look, it’s a good idea to consider switching to contact lenses.

Children who display self-esteem issues when they are given glasses will often return to normal when they have contact lenses, improving the way they act and perform at school.

As contact lenses are practically invisible, they are a great way to correct sight in young people that feel uncomfortable in glasses or are teased for wearing them.

If you are still unsure, remember that you can trial contact lenses with your child, and if it’s not working out you can always switch back to glasses.

Added responsibility

Young children are more than capable of handling the responsibility of wearing and looking after their contact lenses. Most children from age 8 onwards don’t need any help from their parents to insert or remove contact lenses.

Wearing contact lenses requires a bit more care and responsibility, and there is a routine that needs to be followed that doesn’t apply to kids who wear glasses. If your child is good with other responsibilities, chances are they will be the same with contact lenses.

Given the choice of glasses or contact lenses, children are often naturally motivated to be responsible for their lenses. But every child is different; so before deciding to buy contact lenses, make sure you discuss the options with your child and explain to them that if they switch from glasses to contact lenses they will need to accept the added responsibility. This includes being careful when inserting and removing their lenses and being diligent not to get particles underneath them.

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