Contact Lenses and Children: Part 2 Q&A

Dr. Russel Lazarus, May 30, 2021

Did you know? Contact lenses can be safely worn by children aged 8 and up.

Many times, parents are hesitant to get their child contact lenses because they are concerned about their eye health and safety.

Below are commonly asked questions about children and contact lenses.

#1 When is a child ready for contact lenses?

Although even some babies are fitted with contact lenses, most optometrists feel that the best age to begin wearing contacts is between 10-12 years old.

There are two questions to consider before getting a child contact lenses:

  1. Is my child showing signs of maturity and responsibility?
  2. Does my child have good personal hygiene habits?

If the answer is yes to these two questions, then your child may be a great candidate for contact lenses.

A child’s motivation, as well as their maturity level, is a good indication of whether a child is ready to wear contact lenses. The willingness of a child to be responsible for contact lenses and the required hygiene regimen are just as important.

#2 What are the advantages of wearing contact lenses? 

Some of the benefits of  wearing contact lenses include:

  • Clear vision without eyeglasses
  • Enhanced feeling of ‘natural vision,’ especially if the child has a high prescription
  • Increased self-esteem
  • No risk of lost or damaged glasses
  • Improved vision for sports:
    • Better peripheral vision
    • More stable vision
    • Reduced risk of eye injuries

Schedule an eye exam for contact lenses with an eye doctor near you who can help determine the best fit for your child.

SEE RELATED: Multifocal Contact Lenses for Children 

Find an eye doctor for children near you

#3 What are the disadvantages of wearing contact lenses?

There are also some disadvantages of wearing contact lenses:

  • Additional expenses
  • Disinfecting and cleaning can be inconvenient
  • There is a small risk of eye infections and scratches
  • Lenses can fall out, get damaged, or lost during the day
  • Higher frequency of visits to the eye doctor

#4 How can I prevent an eye infection from contact lenses?

By taking preventative measures, a child can minimize their risk of developing an infection by:

  • Always washing hands with soap and water before inserting or removing contact lenses
  • Replacing contact lenses as directed by your eye doctor
  • Cleaning contact lenses and cases as directed by your doctor
  • Keeping fingernails short and clean
  • Attending all appointments with your eye doctor

#5 My child has astigmatism, are contact lenses an option?

Yes! Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is irregularly shaped, causing a refractive error and blurry vision.

Recently, many styles and brands of contact lenses, called toric lenses, have been designed for patients with astigmatism. These lenses are available as daily, biweekly, and monthly replacement options.

Multifocal contact lenses that contain lens powers for astigmatism and near vision problems are also available, as well as lenses designed for overnight wear. There are also special order toric lenses that can essentially correct any amount of astigmatism.

LEARN MORE: Guide to Children’s Eye Exams

Schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor near you to determine if your child is ready for contacts, and to ask  any questions you and your child may have.