Has your child started to ask if they could wear contact lenses? Do they inadvertently and frequently find themselves in ambiguous situations where their glasses are found in pieces? Do they complain about having to wear their cumbersome accessory, or about receiving less-than-flattering comments from their classmates about their glasses? Have they admitted to avoiding wearing their glasses when they should be wearing them at all times?
All these reasons and many more are prompting many parents to ask us the following question: is my child old enough to be wearing contact lenses?
And here’s our answer: children can start wearing contacts at around 8 years old! In some cases, the Optometrist can even recommend contact lenses way earlier.
Still undecided? Here are a few statistics that we drew from different studies to reassure you:
- A study published in 2007 concluded that children aged 8 to 11, like teens aged 13 to 17, notice a significant improvement in their quality of life when they switch from glasses to disposable contact lenses. They mentioned, among other things, improved perception of their appearance and higher participation in activities.
- Another study completed alongside 581 kids aged 7 to 15 years old that focused on the risks of wearing disposable contact lenses was published in 2019 and concluded that the risks were not significant. 95% of participants didn’t experience any unwanted side effects, and the 4.5% who did, only experienced insignificant effects.
- If that wasn’t convincing enough: another study published in 2017 on the same topic concluded that the rate of incidents affecting the cornea caused by wearing contact lenses was the same in adults as in adolescents, and significantly lower in children aged 8 to 11 years.
- Numerous recent studies have shown that wearing disposable contact lenses by school-age myopic children significantly reduced (by 30 to 50%!) the progression of this refractive error!
- The contact lens company CooperVision, studied the topic over the span of 3 years with children aged 8 to 15 years old and found that:
- 90% of children said they preferred wearing the MiSight® 1 day contact lenses over their glasses.
- 90% of children could insert and remove MiSight® 1 day lenses on their own, as reported by their parents.
- 100% of parents said their children were happy with the experience of wearing contact lenses, including comfort, vision, ease of use and freedom from glasses.
Glasses are not every child’s cup of tea, and since uncorrected vision can have a long-term impact on their life, it’s sometimes wiser to choose contact lenses! And by helping your child adopt healthy life habits early on, you’ll make sure that they can maintain good eye health throughout their life!
If you are still unsure that your child is ready to make the leap from glasses to contact lenses, this article will help you to identify signs that would indicate that they are.