How Old Is "Old Enough" for Contacts?

Is your child ready for contact lens wear? How old is "old enough"?

These are among the questions asked most often when it comes to contact lenses, says the Contact Lens Council, a nonprofit organization.

There are no set rules with children and lenses. Much depends on the responsibility level of the child. Children as young as 8 may do well with contact lenses, but there are some older teens who may be too immature to handle the responsibility.

In certain cases, contact lenses may be necessary for very young children and even infants. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the parents and/or other caregivers to manage the placement and care of the lenses.

Experts say that it's important to have an eye care professional judge what a child needs in the way of vision correction. Also, the child's capabilities and maturity level must be taken into account when considering contacts. Personal wear and care routines may depend on the type of contact prescribed, the nature of the vision problem being corrected, and the child’s eye chemistry.

No matter which type of lens a person wears, lens care is now easier and more convenient than ever before. It has become a possibility for many children. Basic lens care includes cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting, and storing with a special solution. This solution will keep lenses clean, comfortable, and free from bacteria. Both parents and children should follow the exact instructions given them by their eye care professional.