Talking About Contact Lenses For Children
When your child comes from the eye doctor with the need for a prescription, you might wonder whether to only consider glasses or if contact lenses are a possibility. The answer depends on your individual child, but contacts can be beneficial from the perspective of your child, your eye doctor, and possibly yourself. Since every person should have some say in the discussion, here are some things to think about from each side.
From Your Child's Perspective
Your child may be eager to try out eye contacts. For one, kids can be sensitive about their appearance, and they may think that contact lenses are "cooler" than glasses. Glasses can also interfere with some school activities, such as recess or gym class, where they could potentially break or get in the way of full vision.
From Your Perspective
As a parent, it will be your role in the discussion to judge how ready your child is for contact use. Contact lenses do take a bit more upkeep than regular glasses. For example, your child must learn to put the contacts in and troubleshoot issues with contact placement. They will need to be consistent about remembering to remove contacts and to clean them on a regular basis. You may be able to take an active role in fostering these good habits.
From an Eye Doctor's Perspective
From your doctor's perspective, eye contacts can have some benefits even for younger children. They allow your doctor to customize or change a prescription as your child's vision changes, without the need to replace expenses frames and lenses. Contacts can be swapped out much more affordably. And young contact users may not experience some of the risks of contact use, either. For example, since children aren't as prone to experiencing dry eyes as a result of contact use, they might not have the same problems with irritation or infection. Many doctors feel comfortable recommending contact lenses for children who are as young as eight years old as long as the child is mature enough to handle contact use.
In short, there are several factors to consider when choosing eyeglasses or contact lenses for your child, but contacts can have many benefits from everyone's perspective. You may want to sit down with your child and your eye doctor to discuss some of the responsibilities of wearing contacts to see if it's a decision that everyone feels comfortable with.
Check out your local optometrist's website for additional reading.