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When Should My Child Consider Contact Lenses

When Should My Child Consider Contact Lenses

Most kids can start wearing prescription contact lenses at around age 12. But there’s more to believing a child is ready for contacts than checking their birth certificate. You want to make sure  contacts are always the right choice for your child.

With locations in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, ABC Children's Eye Specialists helps kids and their parents understand the ins and outs of contact lenses, so they can decide if contacts or glasses are a better option. 

If you’re wondering whether contacts are a good choice for your child, here are a few things you (and your child) should consider. 

Contact lenses and kids: Pros and cons

Many kids want contact lenses simply because they hate wearing glasses, but there are a lot of other things to think about, including both advantages and disadvantages of contacts.


Lots of kids get excited about the prospect of wearing contacts, and there are definitely some advantages.

Wider field of view

Because they sit right on the eye surface, contact lenses move along with the eyes, improving peripheral vision and increasing your child’s ability to see well. This movement also allows contact lenses to feel more natural than glasses that often require you to turn or tilt your head to see clearly.

Greater confidence

For many kids, wearing glasses affects their self-confidence and self-esteem. While you may not think these issues are worth considering, they’re a really big deal for your child. Contacts can have a dramatic impact on the way your child looks and how they feel about themselves, especially when they’re with their peers.

Easier to wear during sports

Yes, there are prescription glasses made specifically for sports, but they can still feel unwieldy to many young athletes. Contact lenses let your child participate in sports without worrying about their glasses flying off or getting damaged. Plus, that wider field of vision can make it easier to compete.


Contact lenses offer plenty of advantages, but there are some definite disadvantages, too. The risks of eye damage and serious infections are major “cons” that you and your child need to carefully consider.

Increased risk of infection

Because they rest on your child’s eyes, any germs on the lenses can wind up causing serious eye infections. If you notice any redness or if your child complains of itchy or sore eyes, call our office right away so we can make sure they don’t have an infection.

Complicated care routine

One reason why most eye doctors wait to prescribe lenses until a child is around 12 years old is  the level of care and responsibility that’s required. Younger kids might not be ready to handle these duties.

To prevent infections and eye damage, your child must be committed to following all directions both for the way they wear their lenses and properly caring for them.


Most kids and adults find contact lenses a little uncomfortable when they start wearing them, but over time, they become accustomed to the way the lenses feel. Your child must be prepared to follow a regular schedule, which includes wearing the lenses for no longer than directed and never, ever sleeping in lenses. 

Learning curve

There’s a definite learning curve when it comes to putting lenses in and taking them out — a learning curve that can be steep for adults, too. A little practice is typically all it takes to get a routine down. 

Once lenses are out, be sure your child knows that they must place the lenses in their special case to protect them and keep them clean.

Making the choice

Are contact lenses right for your child? There’s no single answer to this question. Instead, the decision needs to be based largely on whether your child is prepared for the added responsibilities associated with properly caring for their lenses, so their eyes and their vision are protected.

Our team conducts special eye exams prior to prescribing lenses, and we always provide a complete list of instructions to help your child adjust and enjoy clear vision and healthy eyes. 

To learn more about contact lenses for your child, call 602-222-2234 to book an appointment with the team at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists today.


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