Contact lenses for junior: 4 facts to know

Find out if your child’s ready for contact lenses. Also, experts disclose when they could get Lasik…

When should you get contact lenses for your kid

It’s not a statistic Singapore is proud of, but kids aged 7 to 9 top the world for myopia or short-sightedness.  So, it’s no surprise that many of our school children rely on glasses to correct their poor vision.

Wearing spectacles can be a hindrance, especially when junior is physically active such as when they run. Temperature changes may also cause their eyewear to fog up. Their self-esteem may also be affected when this change in their appearance prompts teasing from their peers.

So, using contact lenses may seem more appealing than glasses. However, if you think that Lasik or laser eye surgery to correct his short-sightedness will remove the hassle of wearing contact lenses ― don’t.

Noting that a tween’s eyes are still developing, Dr Leo Seo Wei, a senior consultant ophthalmologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, explains, “Surgery will only provide temporary improvements to your tween’s vision, since the refractive error will still change. Lasik surgery in younger patients also carries a higher risk of complications.”  

 “Lasik surgery in younger patients also carries a higher risk of complications.” 

 

So, your child should wait till they are aged 21, when their vision has stabilised. In the meantime, use spectacles or lenses.

But, before you head out to stock up on contacts for your young ‘un, we’ve asked the experts to share important facts you need to know…

 

There’s no “right” age for your kid to start wearing contacts

Dr Leo notes that physically speaking, your child’s eyes can tolerate contact lenses from a very young age. “[In fact,] some infants or babies are fitted with contact lenses due to congenital cataracts, which require surgery.”

Instead of age, you should consider your child’s ability to use the lenses properly and keeping them clean. Singapore National Eye Centre’s senior consultant, Dr Lim Li shares, there’s no specific age where children can start wearing lenses. “In general, it’s better to avoid contact lenses for children unless it is required for a medical reason. Children shouldn’t wear contact lenses for cosmetic reasons.”

Dr Leo suggests the following behavioural signs suggest your kiddo may be ready to own his first set of contact lenses:

* Is responsible and have good personal grooming habits,
* Keeps his bedroom and bathroom clean,

Generally, these behaviours usually show up in their teenage years.