How Old is Old Enough To Wear Contacts?

contacts-kidsA good friend of mine with a glasses prescription that proves she’s legally blinder than a bat told me she started wearing contact lenses at the age of 10!

Ten? I asked her again to make sure I heard her correctly. But she repeated her answer, she started wearing contacts before she was a pre-teen.

I thought that was mighty early, so I interviewed an optometrist to find out his perspective on how old a child should be before he or she wears contact lenses.

His answer: It depends.

Physically, a child’s eye can handle a contact lens at just about any age. In fact there are certain contact lenses that are used to treat physical eye problems that even infants and toddlers can use (of course the parents are taking care of the lenses in these cases).

So, the truth is, the right age for your child to wear contact lenses depends entirely on your child.

As he told me this bit of industry truth, it resonated as I thought about my own children. My oldest is ultra responsible. Sets his own alarm and wakes himself up for school everyday at age 6! Wearing contact lenses at nine or ten would probably be reasonable for him because he follows directions well and is very conscientious.

But, some of my other offspring, to continue this example using my own children, may not be ready for contacts until well into (or after) their teenage years. All directions and instructions are treated more like suggestions in their economies…and I’m afraid they’d get an infection as a result of not cleaning them properly.

Essentially, you can take a look at your child’s grooming practices, and commitment to them and get a good indication as to whether or not they are ready for contacts. Do they brush their teeth thoroughly, forget sometimes or do it rushed and half-way? This may be a good indicator of how well your child would care for his or her contacts including cleaning them, handling them, etc…

A good optometrist (like the one you’ll find at your closest America’s Best) will ask your child questions and talk to your child about the responsibility of wearing contact lenses. But, as the parent, you probably know best as to whether or not your child is ready for the responsibility. Once you feel they are ready, they will have lots of great lens options from America’s Best at some unbeatable prices!

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