Only you can answer that question. There is no age limit for children to begin wearing contact lenses. Deciding whether your child should wear glasses or contacts to correct their vision depends on how responsible the child is, among other factors, and not their age.
In general, children at least 12 years old are more likely ready for the responsibility of wearing and caring for contact lenses. However, some younger children are more responsible than teenagers.
Is your child mature enough for contacts? The experienced team of pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists shares guidelines to help you figure out whether contact lenses are right for your child.
Does your child clean their room?
Does your child brush their teeth or hair without a reminder? In other words, will your child follow the regimen for cleaning and caring for their contact lenses without constant reminders? Will you have to browbeat them or worry about them sticking dirty lenses in their eyes?
If you feel like you can trust your child to care for their contacts properly and keep them in good condition, your child may be ready for them. If you don’t think your child can be trusted, you should stick with glasses because contacts that are not properly disinfected before being placed in the eye can lead to irritation and infection.
Does your child play sports?
Playing sports regularly is a big reason for both adults and children to wear contacts. Frames can be awkward to wear while competing in sports such as gymnastics, soccer, or football. The lenses can fog up, impairing your vision. Plus, eyeglass frames are not cheap and can break.
Additionally, contacts give you full peripheral vision, potentially improving your performance.
Is your child self-conscious about their glasses?
Lastly, children can be mean, and use that meanness to play on the insecurities of other children. Glasses can make kids the target of teasing and bullying. If your child doesn’t like the way they look with glasses, contact lenses may help boost their self-esteem and confidence.
One study found that kids who wore contacts after having worn glasses reported that they felt better about their appearance and participation in activities with contact lenses. Almost three-quarters of the kids in the study preferred contacts to glasses.
If you’d like to discuss getting a prescription for contacts for your child, call ABC Children’s Eye Specialists with offices in Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona, to make an appointment with one of our expert pediatric ophthalmologists or optometrists. You can also request an appointment online through this website.