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How Old Does My Child Have to Be to Start Wearing Contacts?

pair contact lenses on tableMany parents wonder at what age their child can begin wearing contacts. One of the best ways to answer this question is by referring to a 2017 study that was conducted by the American Optometric Association (AOA), The Safety of Soft Contact Lenses in Children, the goal of this study was to determine how safe soft lenses are for children, which age group optometrists frequently recommend contacts to, as well as the reasons for these recommendations.

What Age is a Good Age to Consider Contact Lenses?

Many optometrists state that they typically begin fitting a child for contacts once he or she reaches the age of 10, 11 or 12. The age of 10 is typically the youngest age that optometrists will recommend contact lenses for because optometrists believe that once children reach the age of 10, they are mature enough to take proper care of their eyes and their contacts.

Study Results

Sixty-seven percent of the optometrists who participated in this study stated that they fit children who are 8 years old or younger for glasses. However, once the child falls within the 15 to 17-year-old age group, 66 percent of the participating optometrists stated that they would be more likely to fit the individual for contacts.

Can a Child Who is Younger Than 10 Get Contact Lenses?

Possibly, there are a variety of reasons that an optometrist may consider a child who is younger than 10 for contact lenses instead of glasses. For example, if a child practices good personal hygiene, is very responsible and really wants to wear contacts instead of glasses, he or she may be a good candidate for contacts. When a child wants to wear contacts, the likelihood that he or she will take proper care of them increases. In addition, an optometrist may recommend contact lenses for a child who participates in sports, fast-paced activities and dances because contacts are safer than glasses while participating in these kinds of activities.

If you reside in the Grand Forks, North Dakota, area and your child needs an eye exam, glasses or contact lenses, contact Lifetime Vision to schedule an appointment with an experienced optometrist. To schedule an appointment by phone, please call 701-746-6745 or, if you prefer, you can use our online form by clicking here. Lifetime Vision is located at 2900 South Columbia Road, Grand Forks, North Dakota.