You won’t believe how early your kids can wear contact lenses

I have bequeathed my myopia to my daughter. And now that she has become a teenager, she is super conscious of her spectacles. When she dresses up in pretty clothes for an occasion, it bothers her to wear her glasses that, she claims, make her look dorky. I would be a total hypocrite if I told her that she looks great whether she wore glasses or not, because when I dress up, I too switch to contact lenses. I guess she sees me doing that. But when my 13-year-old asked for contact lenses, my gut reaction was that it was not healthy. I got my first contact lenses when I was 18 and I just had this feeling that, like alcohol consumption, surely it is not ok for a child to wear contact lenses until they are adults. So I did some digging around and this is what I found: Infants are prescribed contact lenses to correct vision problems! So how do you know if your child is ready for contact lenses?

Kids_Contact_Slide__BWP0730

Self-regulated child: If your child cares for her own things well, follows instructions properly and overall does not require repetition of do’s and don’ts and is a responsible child, then you can definitely consider contact lenses for your child.

Reason: All said and done, contact lenses are a foreign body you insert into your eye and about five percent of wearers sometimes develop complications. Therefore, if your child is asking for lenses so that she can have her favourite celebrity’s green eyes, then you definitely don’t want to encourage it.

Sporty: If your kid plays a sport that makes it very inconvenient to wear spectacles, then she can definitely wear contact lenses to make it easy playing the sport. Sweat will not fog up up the lenses and contact sports will not knock them off.

Risks:

  • Hygiene is a critical factor. Lenses have to be handled with clean hands and the case has to be washed and maintained scrupulously.
  • Lenses should be used according to type. Disposable lenses should be used according to the period of disposal. Day lenses should not be worn overnight. For children, daily disposable contacts might be a good idea because it eliminates any risk of contamination, storage hygiene and cleaning. At the end of the day, they are just thrown away and new ones are worn every day.
  • Finger nails should be kept closely trimmed to avoid accidental scratching of the eye.
  • Contacts should never be stored in water and it is also not recommended to wear them during swimming as the dirty water can get behind the lenses and cause an infection.

A study of children between eight and eleven years showed that contact lenses can be comfortably worn and managed by even kids that young and therefore, if you have a responsible child, there is no reason not to go for contact lenses. Studies show that contact lenses seem to boost the self-esteem of children. However, personally, I really hope that my child has a stronger sense of self than that. I am ok with her feeling pretty in them, like how one feels pretty in pretty clothes and jewellery. However, I would hate for her to feel inadequate just because she sports a pair of spectacles.

loader