Contacts: Is Your Child Ready for Contact Lenses?
As kids move toward adolescence and become more concerned with their appearance, many ask to toss their eye glasses in favor of contact lenses. For some it's a practical matter—wearing contacts can be preferable when playing sports or participating in other activities where glasses are a hindrance. Knowing your child's level of maturity and dependability in other areas of health and hygiene can help you make the call.
Here are some things to consider:
- Physically, children are well-suited to contacts. Their eyes adapt to them rapidly, and young people are less prone to dry-eye problems than adults.
- One thing that makes contact lenses more accessible to younger eye patients is the availability of disposable daily lenses. These don't require daily cleaning and sterilization like other lenses, removing much of the work and risk. In a recent study of 8-11 year olds, 90 percent of the kids had no trouble applying or removing this type of lens without parental help. Parents should be aware of the cost associated with these lenses, however, as a fresh supply must be purchased regularly to allow for a fresh pair every day.
- Consider how reliably your child performs other tasks and responsibilities. Honestly, if you still need to remind your tween to brush his teeth twice a day, he's probably not ready for the rigors of contact lenses. However, if you have a child who is very conscientious in these areas, he may be a great candidate for contacts.
Talk with your eye care provider for more specific information about the kinds of lenses available and what proper care for each would entail before making a decision.
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