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Can kids wear contact lenses? This is one of those questions that receives the well-worn answer "it depends".
Contact lens use is considered safe for children as young as eight as long as the proper lens care procedures are adhered to. Lenses that are replaced once a month or every two weeks must be cleaned, disinfected, rinsed, and stored when not in use. This might be challenging for very young users, but easier for older teens or tweens. Establish a lens care regimen that works for the appropriate age, like inserting and removing daily disposables at the same times each day. Ask the doctor for a contact lens care and instruction sheet that is easy for kids to understand. And designate a specific area in the home for insertion and removal. A magnifying mirror would probably come in handy.
Kids can wear contact lenses for many of the same reasons adults do. Some of the benefits that kids can realize include:
Some diseases might prohibit contact lens wear, like certain allergies. Discuss this with your child's eye doctor. Also discuss with your child's doctor the effects of long-term contact lens wear on the cornea.
It is important for contact lens users of all ages to not sleep in lenses that are not specifically designed for it. At the same time, there are some rigid contact lenses that are designed to actually help reshape the cornea during sleep, treating certain types of myopia (nearsightedness).
Kids (and parents) must understand the importance of replacing lenses on schedule, whether it's daily, biweekly, or monthly. Daily disposable lenses are particularly suitable for younger children. There is no lens care regimen to follow. As long as the child understands that his or her hands must be absolutely clean when inserting or removing the lenses, the word "daily" leaves no doubt as to when the lenses must be replaced.
In the end, one of the most important considerations when deciding whether your kids are good candidates for contact lenses is their attitude. Kids will be much more successful adapting to contact lenses if they are excited about it.
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