Fitting Children with Contact Lenses

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Many parents ask when it is appropriate for an eye doctor to fit children with contact lenses. As we have written before, there is no specific age limitation to children wearing contact lenses. There are even babies who have been fit with contacts. The main considerations for a parent to consider are the motivation and maturity of the child and his/her ability to insert and remove the lenses; especially when the child is not at home. A good indication of motivation is the child asking for contact lenses rather than the parent suggesting it. I have had patients as young as 8 years of age who have been successful contact lenses wearers and been very adept at inserting and removing the lenses.

There are many advantages to fitting children with contact lenses:

  • For sports and other outdoor activities: Contacts are less cumbersome than glasses, provide better peripheral vision, won’t fog up or get splattered by dirt or raindrops and eliminate the possibility of the glasses breaking and perhaps causing an eye injury.
  • For children with focusing and/or convergence problems:Often, bifocal glasses are prescribed. As most children and teenagers do not want to wear bifocal glasses, they may remove them after leaving their homes. Fitting children with contact lenses will increase the likelihood of the needed correction being worn.
  • Psychological benefit of fitting children with contact lenses:In many cases, especially if the prescription is high, fitting children with contact lenses will give them a better self image and more self confidence.

Daily disposable contacts are the ideal lenses for children. These lenses are worn during only one day and then discarded. No cleaning and disinfecting is required. A fresh, clean and comfortable lens is utilized each day the lenses are worn. Contact lens related problems are minimized when wearing one day disposable lenses. Also, if the child has allergies, one day disposable lenses are the best option for contact lens wear.

If you are considering having your child fit with contact lenses, ask your eye doctor about CooperVision’s Proclear 1 Day lenses. These lenses are made from a material that resists deposits, drying out and provides excellent all day comfort.

Children and Contact Lenses

Posted by CooperVision on Monday, August 6, 2012

When can a child safely wear contact lenses? This is a question that many parents may ask an eye doctor before school starts. The surprising answer is that physically, a child's eyes can tolerate contact lenses at a very young age. Even some infants are fitted with contact lenses due to congenital cataracts or other eye conditions present at birth. While this may be true, more than half (51%) of optometrists feel it is appropriate to introduce children to soft contact lenses between the ages of 10 and 12 years old, while nearly one in four (23%) feel 13-14 years old is a suitable age for a child to begin wearing contact lenses.

Exactly when a child patient is ready for contact lenses should be based on the patient’s maturity and ability to handle contact lenses responsibly. If a child is interested in wearing contact lenses, daily disposable contact lenses like Proclear 1 Day may be a great option. In a recent study that involved fitting myopic children of ages 8-11 with one-day disposable contact lenses, 90 percent of the kids had no trouble applying or removing the contacts without assistance from their parents.

Here are some indicators that parents can use to decide if their children are ready for contact lenses:

  • The child has consistent grooming habits and does not need to be reminded to perform tasks such as brushing their teeth.
  • The child is responsible and performs routine chores on his or her own.
  • The child follows through on schoolwork

While these are some possible signs that a child may be ready for contact lenses, the best way to decide if a child is ready is to discuss this option with the child along with an eye doctor. Click here for an eye doctor near you.

About On Eye

On Eye is the contact lens blog from CooperVision. On this site, you will find insights about fitting, technology, and the business of contact lenses. The On Eye blog is designed to meet the needs of both Eye Care Practitioners and consumers. ECP and medical professional-specific portions of the blog will be password protected in order to protect and reserve the privacy of the profession. To read more about our terms of use, please see the Legal tab.

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