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How to help your child transition to contact lenses
Medically reviewed by Alastair Lockwood on 19 January 2021
More and more children are transitioning to contact lenses for a range of reasons including self-confidence, freedom when playing sports and enhanced academic performance. Studies have proven this and highlighted the benefits of wearing contact lenses. However, it can be tricky for children to transition from wearing glasses to contact lenses, and many parents have concerns about their children doing so.
A key factor is how responsible your child is and their ability to follow good hygiene practices when wearing contact lenses. If they are adept then the rules are similar to adults.
- Speak to the optician
Before purchasing contact lenses online, we recommend booking an appointment with your optician to ensure that contact lenses are a suitable choice for your child. They will be able to advise on the best lens fit and prescription.
- Ease into contact lenses
Switching from glasses to contact lenses can take some time to get used to. Make sure that your child doesn't rush into wearing contact lenses full-time instantly. Keep their eyeglasses and make sure that they ease into wearing contacts by only wearing them for short periods at first.
In the beginning, supervising your child while they wear their contact lenses at home is a good idea. As your child becomes more at ease with wearing contact lenses, you can increase their wearing time.
- Stick to daily disposable contact lenses
Daily disposable contact lenses are a great choice of contact lenses for children as they require the least maintenance and are the safest and most convenient option.
Daily disposable lenses also take the hassle out of cleaning and storing contact lenses. These lenses can be thrown away at the end of each day and are a great way to ease children into a contact lens-wearing regime.
- Get familiar with the basics
Make sure that your child is familiarised with the basics such as knowing and remembering to remove their contact lenses before they go to bed, swimming or take a shower. They may need you to remind them for the first few weeks while they get used to them.
- Be patient
It can take some time to get used to wearing contact lenses, so patience is vital. Having a pair of glasses at hand is convenient if your child is finding contact lenses uncomfortable at first. However, remind them that it's perfectly normal to find contact lenses slightly uncomfortable at the beginning.
Let them know that they can revert to their eyeglasses if they find contact lenses too uncomfortable, but also let them know that a little feeling of awareness is perfectly normal in the beginning. If your child finds lenses painful for any reason, it is essential to discontinue wear immediately and visit your eye care practitioner.
- Create a routine and stick to it
Sticking to a rigid schedule is the best way to help your child get used to wearing contact lenses. You might want to have them wear contacts on particular days rather than every day at first until they become accustomed to a schedule.
You may even want to create this routine during half-term or during the school holidays so that they can gradually build up their wearing time with ease. This will also ensure that they get the practice they need putting in and removing contacts without having to rush before school.
- Create a contact lens kit for on the go
Putting a contact lens kit together so your child can take it in their backpack to school is an excellent idea. This should include a contact lens case, replacement contacts and contact lens solution.
If your child is very young, you may want to alert the teacher of this too in case they have an incident and need help managing the situation. For example, they may lose a contact lens during break time or P.E. Although this is rare, it's best to be on the safe side and be well prepared.
- Make regular trips to the optometrist
Regular trips to the optometrist will ensure that your children's eye health is taken care of as best as possible. It is recommended that children undergo an eye exam once every year as their vision may change as they gradually get older. Whether your child wears contacts or glasses, this will ensure that they receive any vision correction if needed.
Quick links:At what age can my child wear contacts?
Eye exams for contact lenses
How long does it take to get used to contact lenses?