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Mom holding child and a doctor holding a contact lenses case

Contact Lenses and Kids

By Kristi A. Harley, MSN, CPNP, Chesapeake Pediatrics

With the support of a parent or caregiver, children can safely wear contact lenses. When worn and cared for properly, contact lenses are a safe and effective form of vision correction. Not only do contact lenses help improve vision, but they may also give your child an added boost of confidence both socially and in their ability to participate in sports.

According to the American Optometric Association, children as young as 8 years old can be fitted for contact lenses, but most doctors feel contact lenses are more appropriate for children between the ages of 10 and 12 years old. Your child’s level of maturity, motivation to wear contact lenses, and their personal hygiene are also factors to consider when deciding if contact lenses are the best fit for your child.

To reduce the risk of eye infections and other complications, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents and caregivers teach healthy wear and care behaviors.

Enjoy the comfort and benefits of wearing contacts by following these tips:

Healthy Habits

  • Wear, clean, and store your contact lenses as directed by your eye doctor.
  • Wash your hands before handling your contact lenses – every time.
  • Don’t sleep in your contact lenses, unless directed to by your doctor.
  • Keep your contact lenses away from water and remove them before showering or swimming.

Contact Lens Care

  • Never use water or saliva to clean your contact lenses. Always use lens disinfecting solution.
  • Contact lenses should only be stored in contact solution. Never store them in water.
  • Replace contact lenses as directed by your doctor.
  • Keep your contact lens case clean with contact lens solution – never water. Store them upside down with the lens case open or caps off after each use.
  • Get a new lens case about every three months.

Contact Lens Solution

  • Use only fresh contact lens solution – never mix old and new solution.
  • Use the solution recommended by your doctor.

Visit your eye doctor as often as recommended, and ask questions if you are having any difficulties. Immediately remove your contact lenses and call your eye doctor if you experience eye pain, discomfort, redness, or blurred vision.

Additionally, carry a backup pair of glasses in case you need them. Also, remember sunglasses for sun protection, as well as protective eyewear for activities as needed.

Contact lenses are not your only option for vision correction. If you’re considering contact lenses for your child, consult your pediatrician. They can refer you to a pediatric optometrist who can help determine the best option for your child.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.

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