Can Children Wear Contacts? - Primera Eye Care | Lake Mary Optometrist
 

Can Children Wear Contacts?

Children aged twelve or older can be prescribed contact lenses
Read Time: 3 minutes
Jul 11, 2022

It’s vital to correct a child’s vision as quickly as possible if they’re having difficulty seeing clearly. Poor vision can stunt a child’s development and make it difficult to learn at school or play sports. Therefore, parents must ensure their children’s vision is corrected in the best way possible, whether with glasses or contact lenses. Children can wear contacts, but when or whether it’s possible depends on the child.

At What Age Can a Child Wear Contacts?

a mother and child at an eye doctor discussing contacts

The age at which a child can wear contacts depends on the child. In younger children, the risks of wearing contacts often outweigh the potential benefits, so most eye doctors won’t prescribe them to children under twelve. However, some more responsible children between the ages of eight and eleven may be able to handle contact lenses.

What Are the Risks of Children Wearing Contacts?

There are risks for anyone of any age wearing contact lenses, including the following:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Infections on the cornea
  • Scratches on the cornea
  • Irritation on the cornea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Red eyes
  • Bloodshot eyes

On top of the usual risks, with children there’s a higher chance that they won’t be able to manage the proper care of their contacts. Children have to practice good hygiene when it comes to contact lenses or there’s a greater risk of infection.

What Are the Benefits of Contacts for Children?

a young girl playing soccer with no glasses

While there are risks associated with contact lenses for children, there are circumstances in which contacts can be beneficial. In particular, children who play sports could benefit from the improved peripheral vision that contacts offer. Additionally, contacts can be safer for children because if glasses break while they’re doing sports or playing, they could injure the child.

What Care Do Contact Lenses Need?

a teenage girl removing a contact lens from the container

Because contact lenses sit directly against the eye, proper care is needed to keep them clean and safe. This is where the greater risk is with children having contact lenses. Parents can help with some of the care, but a child would still need to be responsible for putting the contacts in hygienically.

#1

Washing Hands

Children who have more difficulty with hygiene may be able to use daily or disposable contacts. However, they still need to make sure that they wash their hands well before handling the contacts or putting them into their eyes.

#2

Removing Contacts Before Bed

It’s also important for children to not sleep with contact lenses in unless the eye doctor has specifically said that it’s okay. This is true for adults as well, but it may be more likely for children to forget to take their contacts out.

#3

Not Leaving Contacts in Too Long

It’s also important for children to take out contacts on time. They shouldn’t be left in for too long or there’s a risk of eye irritation.

#4

Avoiding Contacts With Red Eyes

Children would also have to monitor their own eye health. You shouldn’t put contacts in if your eyes are red or irritated. If their eyes started to become irritated while wearing the contacts, the child would need to be able to take them out.

#5

Cleaning Contact Lenses Properly

Contact lenses need to be cleaned in a proper cleaning solution and not water or saliva.

What Are Symptoms of Problems with Contacts?

If your child does wear contact lenses, then there are some signs of problems that you should keep an eye out for:

  • Eye pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye irritation
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Increased eye discharge
  • Watery eyes

If your child exhibits the above symptoms, then you should book an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss options.

Is your child struggling with their vision?

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