Kids and Contacts: What You Need to Know

Sharing is caring!

To date, more than two-thirds of all children suffer from vision impairments. According to studies, many of these cases could have been prevented had the children been provided early corrective interventions. For most kids, this means wearing some form of glasses since they are easier to use and maintain. That said, for some children, regular eyeglasses might not be ideal. Whether this is because they feel uncomfortable with specs, they have an active lifestyle, or they just want to try something a bit more flexible, some kids may prefer to try contacts. But are these corrective devices safe and effective for kids? Read on to find out. 

Kids and Contacts

How contacts work

Although they’re easily accessible, contacts are still medical devices that are regulated by agencies like the FDA and prescribed by doctors. As such, it’s better to use reliable premium brands of contact lenses. These are not only designed to cater to various lens needs like single vision, bifocal, and toric, but they’re also made with technology to make the wearer feel comfortable. For instance, Alcon Air Optix lenses include their Smartshield tech, which protects them from outside substances. These same contacts also use the brand’s HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix to ensure whole-day ocular hydration. 

Depending on the brand, contacts also have varying replacement schedules. While some dailies are meant to be disposed of after a single day, others can be used for up to a week or a month. Ultimately, it will depend on a doctor to decide which replacement schedule is most suitable. Contrary to what some may think, contacts can be very affordable so long as you work with a doctor and contact lens provider who’s open to considering your family’s needs and circumstances. 

Benefits of contacts for kids

The biggest potential benefit of contacts for kids is that they sit right on the eyeballs. This means that your child can enjoy continuous vision correction without having to worry about bringing their glasses along. For progressive diseases, like myopia, that need consistent treatment in children, this is especially helpful. Contacts are also less likely to fog up or get smudged. Unlike eyeglass lenses that are vulnerable to changes in the weather or little hands accidentally smearing them, contacts remain clear throughout the day. If your child is engaged in sports, wearing contacts may also feel more empowering. Because there are no potentially cumbersome frames, contacts provide a continuous field of vision. Additionally, young athletes can focus more on their performance rather than keeping their eyewear clean, secure, and damage-free.
As mentioned above, another perk of contacts is the confidence they may bring. While there is nothing wrong or shameful about wearing glasses, kids are at a delicate point in their development wherein building self-assurance is critical. Just as parents should teach their kids that wearing glasses can be cool and normal, it can also help to give them the freedom to explore contacts. After all, contact lenses won’t clash with outfits or cover up their faces, which may be a point of concern for some. 

Considerations to keep in mind

Of course, because contacts are more involved than glasses, there are certain things to consider with kids. Firstly, contacts may not be suitable for very young children. As per the CDC, some kids as young as eight years old can start wearing contacts. However, it’s more widely accepted that kids no younger than 12 should wear these devices, given that inappropriate use can lead to serious eye infections. Before you decide to let your kids try contacts, it’s important that they understand the responsibilities and specific care they must practice. 

Next, you must also weigh if contacts are enough for your child’s specific lifestyle. In some cases, you may find that you still need additional eye support. For instance, if your child logs in a lot of screen time, they’ll need contacts with blue-light-blocking properties. Blue light can cause retinal damage while also impacting concentration, sleep, and moods. Variants such as Biofinity Energys do offer this, but wide-scale options for blue light protection in contacts remain limited. As a result, you may still need to use traditional options, like blue light glasses anyway. Because these specs are treated with specialized coatings, they can better protect than some contacts that are just clear. 

Finally, speaking of clear contacts, this is really the only option ideal for kids. While some may want to try colored contact, these are often not as diverse regarding the refractive errors they can treat. At the same time, not all colored contacts are safe. Those that are widely called decorative contact lenses are unregulated and use materials that can irritate and even damage the eyes. For young kids whose eyes are still growing, this can be severely detrimental.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *