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Are Contact Lenses Safe For Kids to Wear?

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Young girl with blue eyes putting on contact lenses

Are They Ready to Go Frame-Free? 

Most children feel super fresh in their fashionable eyewear choices, but there may come a day when they want to make a switch to contact lenses. 

As a parent, you may have a few questions before even considering this option, like: How do you know the right age to start your children on contact lenses? And are contact lenses safe for young eyes? 

Their Eyes Are Ready 

Children’s eyes can tolerate contact lenses from a very young age. Some infants with eye conditions like congenital cataracts are fitted for contact lenses at birth. Physically, your child’s eyes can handle contact lenses, but developmentally, they may not be quite ready for the responsibility. 

Total Vision San Francisco wants you to have the most correct and up-to-date information while you’re weighing the options. Read on for more information about contact lens safety and your children. 

Contact Lenses Are Regulated 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets the regulations for contact lenses, and provides clear safety instructions related to hygiene and proper lens care. There is no specified age restriction on contact lenses, but contact lenses may not be the best fit for some children. 

Contact lenses should always be used safely, and children should only wear them after thorough education and under the supervision of a parent. Serious eye injuries can result from the misuse of lenses. 

Common behaviors that may result in an eye injury can include: 

  • Wearing another child’s contact lens
  • Using saliva to moisten a lens instead of using contact lens solution 
  • Not following the directions of the optometrist 
  • Wearing cosmetic or decorative lenses purchased from unregulated sources

If your child is injured while wearing contact lenses, seek medical advice from your optometrist immediately

Young girl looking at contact lenses before putting them on

Children & Contact Lenses 

Contact lessons are a significant responsibility for a child, and you’ll want to consider how well your child handles their personal hygiene. If they need frequent reminders to wash their hands and keep things clean, they may not be ready to care for contact lenses. 

Your child should demonstrate an ability to apply and remove their lenses without significant difficulty, and ensure they clean and disinfect using the appropriate solutions after each use.

Motivation Station 

Just like many tasks in your child’s life, success greatly depends on their motivation. If your child is interested, is willing to take the extra steps, and can demonstrate good hygiene, they may be an excellent candidate for contact lenses

Remember that inquiring about contact lenses may just be childhood curiosity. Some children show interest at a young age, but are perfectly content wearing eyeglasses until adulthood. 

Safety Tips For Kids Who Wear Contacts 

Here are a few good tips to help your children wear contact lenses safely. 

  • Wash your hands: Make sure your hands are spotless before cleaning or inserting lenses. Remember to dry your hands with a clean cloth carefully. 
  • Disinfect your lenses: Rub them, rinse them, and keep them clean as directed by your optometrist. Make sure you’re only using their recommended products and solutions. Cleaning and rinsing steps may be eliminated if you’re using disposable lenses
  • Keep your eyes safe from infection: Do not expose your contact lenses to any kind of water or saliva.
  • Catch your ZZZs lens-free: Do not sleep in your lenses, or wear your lenses for longer than your optometrist recommends. 
  • For your eyes only: Don’t share your contacts, and never wear someone else’s lenses.
  • Protect yourself: When you are being active or playing sports, remember to wear safety goggles or glasses over your lenses.
  • Smoky eyes are still in style: Remember to apply any cosmetics after inserting your lenses, and remove your lenses before removing your makeup.
  • Call for backup: Keep a pair of glasses handy, just in case you have trouble with your lenses. 
  • Know when to ask for help: Do not put a contact lens into a red eye. If your eyes are itching, burning, or irritated, remove your lenses right away, and seek help from a parent. They will contact your optometrist

Myopia & Contact Lenses 

Children with myopia (nearsightedness) can benefit from Ortho-K lenses. These contact lenses are an effective treatment to correct and control myopia progression in children as young as 6 years old.

Your child would typically wear ortho-K lenses overnight. While they’re sleeping, these lenses temporarily mold their cornea into the ideal shape. This corneal reshaping helps light focus correctly on their retina, resulting in clear vision during the day without glasses. 

Decide Together 

Contact lenses can be beneficial for children. Children who are nearsighted may experience a better quality of vision through the use of contact lenses, and there’s less risk of broken frames if your child is very active or participates in a large number of sports activities. 

It’s essential to sit down and discuss the risks and responsibilities of contact lenses before making any decisions. Remember that switching from glasses to contacts does not need to be a permanent choice. 

If your child does not adapt well to their new lenses or is not ready for the responsibility, they can return to wearing eyeglasses. Your family can always re-evaluate if they express interest at a later date! 

Contact one of our friendly, knowledgeable optometrists if you want more information about children and contact lenses. Reach out to us today


Written by Total Vision

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