“I am always excited to see how contact lenses can help children with eye conditions accomplish things that have traditionally been considered impossible!”
Dr. Jennifer Fogt
Chief, Kids Contact Lens
At what age are contact lenses appropriate for children?
Age alone should not determine whether kids can wear contact lenses. Other factors, such as the 3 M’s, should be used to determine whether or not a child should wear contact lenses.
- Maturity: While maturity does not guarantee success, mature children are more likely to handle the responsibility of contact lens care.
- Motiviation: Motivated children are easier to teach how to insert and remove contact lenses, but children are often nervous about putting something in the eye. Motivation is best judged after trying on contact lenses and giving the child a chance to experience contact lens wear.
- Mother: The best parent is one who will patiently remind children to care for their contact lenses without taking over the responsibilities. Children with parents who are “caring” but not "overbearing" are best suited for contact lens wear.
Why won’t our eye doctor fit kids with contact lenses until 13 years of age?
Some doctors believe that children are not responsible enough to take care of contact lenses until 13 years of age. We believe that age alone has almost nothing to do with determining when children are capable of contact lens care. Doctors may also believe that before the age of 13 years, children’s eyes are not physically ready for contact lens wear, but evidence shows that children fit with contact lenses have eyes that are as healthy as people who were fit as teenagers, even ten years after first wearing contact lenses.
What kind of contact lenses can a child wear?
Children can wear all types of contact lenses: gas permeable, soft, and corneal reshaping. The best type for your child should be determined after consultation with the eye doctor.
Can contact lenses slow the progression of nearsightedness?
Corneal reshaping and soft bifocal contact lenses have been shown to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. The most appropriate lens for your child should be discussed with your eye doctor.
Do contact lenses improve children’s self-esteem?
On average, contact lens wear does improve children’s self-esteem in the areas of physical appearance, athletic competence, and social acceptance. Children also feel better about the scholastic competence if they don’t like wearing glasses.
Do kids like wearing contact lenses?
Children report better vision-specific quality of life when they wear contact lenses, especially in the areas of activities, appearance, and overall satisfaction with their vision correction. Children even report an improvement in quality of life in handling their vision correction when they wear contact lenses. Although contact lenses may be more difficult to care for than glasses, once they are applied to the eyes, children don’t have to bother with them until removal later that day.
Can kids put in and take out contact lenses on their own?
No child is allowed to take home contact lenses until he proves he can take them out. That way, we know children are capable of taking them out if they experience problems. Over 95% of the time children can put in and take out contact lenses on their own. Learning how to do it may require time, patience, and extra visits, but most children can care for lenses without parental help.
What do I need to do to schedule an appointment for my child?
A parent or guardian can simply call call 614-292-2020, option 1. Appointment requests can also be made online through our request an appointment page.