Children can safely and successfully wear contact lenses if they care for them properly. This often means having the support of a parent or other adult to help encourage healthy wear and care behaviors and reduce the risk of eye infections and other complications.
Children Can Successfully Wear Contact Lenses
Contact lenses can provide improved vision and other benefits for a wide spectrum of ages—including children. Children may experience benefits of contact lens wear beyond seeing better. Wearing contact lenses may improve children’s perceptions of their physical appearance compared with wearing glasses, and increase their confidence both in social interactions and in their ability to participate in athletic activities.
Contact Lenses are Not Risk-Free
Regardless of the wearer’s age, contact lenses are medical devices and are not risk-free. Contact lenses have been linked to serious eye infections and other types of complications. Contact lenses are a safe and effective form of vision correction for children, teenagers, and adults, as long as they are worn and cared for properly.
Parents Play an Important Role
Children often depend on their parents or other adults for medical care. Parents play an active role in the day-to-day safety and health of their children, which includes vision and eye health—especially when it comes to the use of contact lenses. In addition to parental supervision, a child’s level of maturity, motivation to wear contact lenses, and personal hygiene are all things to consider. It is important for both parents and children to understand that they share in the responsibility to wear and care for contact lenses successfully.
Contact lenses are not the only option for vision correction, and parents who are considering contact lenses for their children should consult with an eye doctor to decide which option is most appropriate.
Healthy Contact Lens Tips
Enjoy the comfort and benefits of contact lenses while lowering your chance of complications. Failure to wear, clean, and store your lenses as directed by your eye doctor raises the risk of developing serious infections. Your habits, supplies, and eye doctor are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Follow these tips.
- Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well with a clean cloth before touching your contact lenses every time.
- Don’t sleep in your contact lenses unless prescribed by your eye doctor.
- Keep water away from your contact lenses. Avoid showering in contact lenses, and remove them before using a hot tub or swimming.
- Rub and rinse your contact lenses with contact lens disinfecting solution—never water or saliva—to clean them each time you remove them.
- Never store your contact lenses in water.
- Replace your contact lenses as often as recommended by your eye doctor.
Contact lens case
- Rub and rinse your contact lens case with contact lens solution—never water—and then empty and dry with a clean tissue. Store upside down with the caps off after each use.
- Replace your contact lens case at least once every three months.
Contact lens solution
- Don’t “top off” solution. Use only fresh contact lens disinfecting solution in your case—never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.
- Use only the contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor.
- Visit your eye doctor yearly or as often as he or she recommends.
- Ask your eye doctor if you have questions about how to care for your contact lenses and case or if you are having any difficulties.
- Remove your contact lenses immediately and call your eye doctor if you have eye pain, discomfort, redness, or blurred vision.
- Carry a backup pair of glasses with a current prescription—just in case you have to take out your contact lenses.