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When is a Child Old Enough To Wear Contact Lenses?

Parents often ask me what is ¬†a good age is for a child to start wearing contact lenses. ¬†I always tell them that it is not necessarily an age, but more of a maturity factor. ¬†Contact lenses are a huge responsibility and, as a parent, you have to make sure that you are willing to monitor your child's contact lens habits. ¬†Improper use of contacts can often lead to frequent infections, corneal abrasions and in rare cases, permanently scarred corneas that have the potential to affect vision for the rest of your life. ¬†Parents can use these Do's and Don't as a guideline to see if their child is ready to step into the contact lens world. Simple Do's - ¬†Always follow the directions on the packaging of your lenses and those of your Eye Doctor. - Always wash hands thoroughly with warm soap and water before handling contacts. - If you find a brand of solution that works for you, stick with it. ¬†Not all brands work for everybody and all types of lenses. - ¬†Discard old solution and replace with fresh every time you put your lenses in their case, even if they are only going to be in there for a short time. - Get regular eye exams to ensure proper strength and fit of your current prescription. - Whenever you are out in the sun, always wear UV protective sunglasses, even if your contacts are in. Simple Don'ts - Don't use any medication without your doctor's permission - Don't ever take your lenses out of the packaging using your fingernail or any other tool. - Don't ever store your contact lenses in the case using tap water, or even worse, SALIVA. - Don't stretch out the time¬†between¬†changing your lenses to try to save money. ¬†This could lead to an infection and having to get costly eye drops. - Don't ever put on someone else's contacts, even the non-prescriptive ones used just to change eye color. If you follow these simple steps, contact lens use can be a great experience, freeing your child from the hassle of having to wear glasses. Mary Sweetman Certified Ophthalmic Assistant ============ I use the "clean room" test. If the child's room is kept neat and clean, he or she is probably ready to wear contact lenses. Paul Krawitz, M.D., President VisiVite.Com      

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