When Is the Right Time for a Child to Get Contacts?

If your child currently has glasses and asks you if he or she can get contacts, you may wonder if the child is ready for this. Eye contacts are very different from glasses, and they are not right for everyone, no matter what age. Before you make this decision, you might want to look into the following factors to help you know if contacts would be a good option for your child.

The Eye Condition the Child Has

Contact lenses used to have limits, but they no longer do. In fact, contact lenses can be a great option for people with almost any type of vision problem. Nearsightedness and farsightedness are the two most common types of vision problems, but many people also suffer from astigmatisms, which are problems that relate to the way the eyes focus light. Today, there are contact lenses available for all these problems.

One thing you should understand is that if your child has dry-eye syndrome, wearing contacts might worsen the symptoms. Besides that, contact lenses might be a great option for your child.  

The Maturity of the Child

The second thing to consider is the maturity of your child. Keep in mind that maturity levels do not always correlate with age, and that is why eye doctors do not stick with recommending contacts for children that have reached a certain age. Maturity is a necessary factor to look into simply because contacts are harder to use, maintain, and care for.

With contacts, your child will have to learn how to put them in and take them out. He or she will have to be well aware of the fact that this should be done with clean hands. In addition, contacts must be stored in solution so they can get cleansed. Contacts are also very small and can get lost very easily. The work required with contacts is not overly time consuming, but it does require some effort.

You may want to think about how mature your child is right now before you decide whether to allow this. If you believe that your child is mature enough to handle these responsibilities, then contacts might be a good option.

The Pros and Cons of Children Having Contacts

Finally, you may want to look at the pros and cons of allowing your child to get contact lenses. Contacts offer a variety of advantages over eyeglasses, and here are a few of the main ones:

Losing them is not as big of a deal – If your child loses his or her glasses, it will cost a lot to get a new pair. If your child loses one set of contacts, it's not a big deal, because you can get multiple pairs of contacts for the same price as one pair of glasses.

They offer better peripheral vision – One disadvantage of eyeglasses is that you can only see out of them when you are looking into them. Contacts offer better vision all around, including peripherally.

They are great for sports – Contacts are also better for children that play sports. They do not get in the way, and they may help the child see better so he or she can perform better.

Two disadvantages of contacts are the work involved in cleaning them and the problems they can cause if they are left in the eyes while sleeping.

If you are not quite sure if your child is ready for contacts, you may want to talk to an eye doctor about this. This is the best way to find out more information and details about children and contact lenses.