Are contact lenses suitable for children?

We often get asked about contact lenses for kids – are they suitable for children, what age can they start wearing them, and what type is best? We’ve done our best to answer any questions you may have in this blog post.

Contacts lenses vs glasses

Wearing glasses can sometimes present challenges for children. Although now they are perceived as trendier than previously, children can still feel self-conscious and lose their confidence in wearing them. Some just don’t like how they look in glasses, whereas children’s contact lenses can offer them a natural look again.

An improved field of vision is another plus for contact lenses. Glasses may provide a limited area of vision depending on the size and shape of the frame and lenses. This can obstruct vision to a degree during activities like sports. In contrast, with contact lenses, a child can experience panoramic, sharp vision at all distances and angles, as they sit directly on the eyes.

Kids also have more active lifestyles, meaning glasses can be more prone to breaking or falling off while playing or during contact sports for example. With contact lenses, children won’t have to contend with them moving around as they’re in motion or breaking.

Contact lenses can also be worn full or part-time, so if your child only wants to wear them for a specific activity rather than everyday, they have the freedom to do that too.

When can children start wearing contact lenses?

We generally recommend contact lenses for children anywhere from the age of 8. Every child develops differently though, so it all comes down to whether your child is ready to handle the responsibility of wearing contact lenses if they really want to wear them. They will need to learn how to put the lenses in and take them out, look after them and keep them clean if we recommend reusable lenses.

Types of contact lenses

Children can use either daily disposable contact lenses, which are thrown away at the end of everyday, or reusable contact lenses, which come in 2 weekly or monthly options. We are also accredited to fit special night contact lenses for children that not only correct their vision but are also clinically proven to slow down the progression of shortsightedness, to protect their vision.

The type of contact lens we recommend to wear depends on their prescription, lifestyle and as mentioned before, their commitment to caring for their lenses and practising good contact lens hygiene everyday.

During their contact lens consultation, our optometrist will take the time to discuss the advantages of the different options based on what their needs are and recommend the best option for your child. We’ll then teach them how to insert and remove them correctly, as well as how to clean and store them if they are trialling a reusable lens until they’re confident in doing so themselves. They will then have the chance to go away and try wearing them at home for a few days before we see them again to check their eyes and see how they’re getting on with the lenses.

If your child wants to start wearing them after that, we’ll provide them with contact lens aftercare service, including regular check-ups and contact lens supplies which can be picked up in practice or delivered to your home.

Book an appointment

If you think contact lenses will be a good fit for your child, the first step is to schedule an appointment with our optometrist in Dundee. If you’re unsure whether your child’s prescription is up to date, contact us to check so we can book them in for an eye examination too.