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How to Prepare Kids for Wearing Contact Lenses

how to prepare kids for contact lensesAs kids age, many decide they would like to wear contact lenses (contacts) instead of glasses. Whether for style or sports, contacts can be an excellent option for your child. It is essential, however, to understand the pros and cons of contacts as well as safety guidelines to minimize their risk of infection or corneal abrasion.

Contact Lens Pros

Contact lenses are an ideal option for athletes because they provide better peripheral vision than glasses and do not break as easily as glasses frames can. Also, contacts can provide a better quality of vision for the child as the lens is placed directly over the cornea. Contacts do not fog up or slip, which is a big plus, especially when playing sports.

Contact Lens Cons

To be able to wear contact lenses safely, the child should be of an age and maturity level where they can be responsible for the care of the lenses as well as safe insertion. Most eye care professionals recommend waiting until a child is 12 or 13 before allowing them to wear contacts. If contacts are not cleaned and stored correctly, the risk of a severe eye infection, corneal abrasion, or worse is magnified. Also, contacts should never be overworn. The child should clearly understand the “rules” of wearing contacts safely and their responsibility before purchasing them. Children with seasonal allergies are often not good candidates for contact lenses, as contacts may exacerbate their symptoms.

Contact Lens Safety Tips

  1. Always wash hands with soap and water before applying, removing or cleaning contact lenses.
  2. Clean and disinfect contact lenses with only contact lens solutions that are recommended by their eye care professional. Never use saliva or water to clean contact lenses.
  3. Never share contact lenses with a friend. Aside from hygiene issues, contact lenses are fitted to the individual. Wearing incorrectly fitted contacts can result in corneal inflammation and abrasions.
  4. Never shower or swim with contacts. Contacts are medical devices and water (even chlorinated pool water) can transmit bacteria and viruses. Contacts trap them on the cornea where they can multiply.
  5. Never wear contacts for more extended periods than are medically recommended. Daily disposable lenses are the best starter lenses for kids as they can toss them out each night and do not have to worry about cleaning them.

When considering contact lenses for a child, the most important consideration should be their interest and motivation. If a child is mature, educated appropriately, and internally motivated to wear contacts, they have the highest likelihood of success. Need more information? Schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatric provider today.


Rainbow Pediatrics of Fayetteville
1327 Robeson Street
Fayetteville, NC 28305
Ph: (910) 486-KIDS (5437) Fax: (910) 486-0011

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