Children are as self-conscious about their glasses as teenagers; more so, in fact. Glasses can subdue the liveliest of kids. Children do see the alternatives advertised – contact lenses. It’s no wonder that they long for contacts. Are they ready for it, though?
The first day they go to school with their glasses on, children are often so embarrassed, they wish they could disappear. That’s how ill at ease they are. Their friends add to their torment with their unrelenting teasing. When they do forget for a while that they have their glasses on, their obstructed peripheral vision teases them into remembering their sad lot. They sure are ready to be rid of these tormentors that sit right on their noses.
Children are so given to living in the moment that it is often impossible for them to remember all the safety measures that they need to adopt when they use contacts. Disinfecting their lenses properly, remembering to take them off before a nap –it can be too much for them. Their day in school makes it impossible for them to keep away from dust or flecks of pencil shavings, etc. all day, too. How could an active boy on the playground expect to keep away from dust, even if he remembered to?
What’s a parent to do?
It’s hard for the parent to make the right decision. Contact lenses will give the child his self-esteem back. It may do the opposite, too. Sometimes, contacts are quite uncomfortable the first few days. This may be quite disconcerting and may make the child feel worse. If he passes this test, there is still the fear of dust getting in and abrading the eyes and the lenses. It is a challenge to keep the lenses clean and germ-free. A child cannot be very careful all the time. He may keep losing his lenses, too.
Waiting a little may be a good idea
It is often a good idea to wait for a child to reach a responsible age. Eyes are precious and a child’s eyes are more precious still. When your child learns to make his bed each morning, put his bag and school shoes in the right places when he comes back from school and finish his homework on his own, he may be ready for his contacts.
It could make sense to wait even longer. There is so much to remember. Not only do lenses need to be kept clean, lens care products have to be kept clean, too. There is the contact lens case, the saline solution and the cleaning and disinfecting solution. The tips of the bottles mustn’t touch any surface. Dust shouldn’t accumulate on the bottles. It isn’t enough to just know this. A child needs to be able to follow all the needed instructions. Waiting, therefore, won’t hurt at all.
Don’t compromise on the quality of the lenses
If you determine that your child really is ready, consider getting the best lenses you can afford. Buying online at a store such as Next Day Lenses could make your money go farther. Children need lenses that allow them to easily take nap. Daily disposable soft lenses have the advantage that they do away with the need to clean and disinfect daily. They can just be thrown away prior to a nap. Doctors find these to be the healthiest contacts to wear. They are soft, moist and are best suited to those with allergies.
It can be hard for a parent to resist when a child wants contact lenses more than anything else. Nevertheless, parents need to remember that contact lens use happens to be a leading cause of eye infections among children. They need to be firm if their children are not truly ready.
Elizabeth Garvey is an optical technician who specializes in children’s eye health. Her articles mainly appear on health and parenting blogs.
Photo credits: clarksoneyecare.com