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Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

Here’s a question we often get at our practice: ‘Is my child too young for contact lenses?’ This is an important question, and the answer may surprise you. 

For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities. 

Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved. 

Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. There’s no reason to worry: contact lenses are just as safe for children as they are for anyone else. 

At Family Eyecare Center of Optometry, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam for contact lenses, contact us today. 

What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications. 

The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health. 

The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.

But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.  

It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.

So, go ahead and bring your child in for a contact lens consultation! We’ll help determine if your child is ready for contacts and answer any questions you or your child may have. To schedule your child’s contact lens fitting or eye exam, contact Family Eyecare Center of Optometry in Westchester, Los Angeles today.  

Don’t Forget The Kids: 5 Tips to Protect Your Child From UV Damage

Adults are not the only ones who need to protect themselves from the sun’s powerful rays.

According to The Vision Council, kids receive almost three times the amount of sun exposure as adults.

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With the lengthy amount of time that kids spent outdoors, it is important that they protect their eyes from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

The lens in children’s eyes, which is responsible for focusing light and images on the retina, is not yet as fully developed as the lens of an adult eye.

This means children’s eyes cannot fully filter out UV light and more damaging rays can reach the retina.

Benjamin Franklin was correct when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Wall Street Journal asks Optometrist Dr. Dawn Hartman why children need UV protection for their eyes:

Preventing UV damage during a child’s younger years is an important step in preserving their eye health during their adult years.

Taking steps now means your child will decrease his or her risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygiums, pingueculae, growths on the eye, and cancer.

Fewer wrinkles never hurts, either.

Luckily, the best solution is the easiest one: Get your child his or her own pair of sunglasses!

5 Tips For Protecting Your Child’s Eyes

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Here are 5 simple suggestions to ensure your kids get the protection they need.

  • Protection for a good price.

Some children’s sunglasses are made like toys and do not include UV protection. .Make sure your child’s sunglasses has a sticker or label indicating protection against UVA and UVB light.

Frames don’t need to be expensive. In fact, it may be a good idea to pick up a few inexpensive pairs, since we all know how kids lose things.

  • Comfort is key.

Make sure the sunglasses are well-fitting and comfortable so that your child will be more likely to wear them.

  • Involve your child.

Let him or her help pick out a style they like so that they will be excited to put their shades on.

  • Avoid decorations.

Prevent scratches and damage to the UV coating by helping your child know to not put stickers or draw on the lenses.

  • Pack a hat.

Wear hats for additional coverage, but do not rely on them alone in place of sunglasses. Baseball caps in particular do not provide great peripheral protection.

Children’s Eye Exams

If your child has not had an eye exam in a while, or has never been in for an eye exam, now is a great time to get back on track.

School eye exams are not as comprehensive as annual eye exams and can miss important conditions, like if your child is colorblind or has a lazy eye.

Give our office a call at (310)670-4411 to schedule today!



The Vision Council. “Protecting Young Eyes”.

Youtube: “Why Children Need UV Protection for Their Eyes”. Wall Street Journal. Published July 7, 2014.

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We Are Open! COVID-19 ReOpening—Expectations
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety and well-being of our patients, staff and doctors is our first priority. Read Safety Protocols. Please read our safety protocols here.