21 answers

What Age Should a Child Get Contacts?

My almost 11 year old boy wants contacts. What is an appropriate age for this?

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Featured Answers

When he's able (responsible) to take care of them for himself. It's important to be careful with cleaning, storing, and wearing contacts so as to prevent infections.

4 moms found this helpful

If you think he can handle washing his hands before putting them in, storing them appropriately, etc, then go for it. I didn't have any problems when I started with contacts (20+ years ago) at age 12, and contacts have gotten even easier since then.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

When he's able (responsible) to take care of them for himself. It's important to be careful with cleaning, storing, and wearing contacts so as to prevent infections.

4 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't go by age... I would go by responsibility level. Does he do his chores without being told a million times? Is he able to keep his room clean, or bed made? Is feeding/cleaning up after pets a problem? Does he keep his grades up? IF he is a fairly responsible kid, I would let him.

BUT if he has issues with responsibility, I would make him prove himself before allowing it. Not taking care of contacts right can damage your eyes, so if you don't trust that he is going to be responsible about it, he would have to wait until he can be. (Maybe set one specific chore for him, and if he does well with it for _____ amount of time, you will let him try out contacts.)

I didn't have to wear glasses until I was in the 6th grade. But my eyes were changing so fast that my doctor advised against glasses. When I turned 15 they had been the same prescription for a while, so I got the OK for contacts. My dad allowed me to get them because I had a job, took care of the house, AND paid all my own bills. When my sister turned 16 she STILL wasn't allowed to have any, because she left messes all over the house, was failing classes, and he didn't feel she would take care of them.

4 moms found this helpful

Depends on whether you think he can take care of them. Take them in and out, wash them nightly, not lose them, etc. I got mine at 15. Physically, I don't see why he couldnt', but an eye doctor would know better. If you have never had experience with contacts, it would be good to get a primer on care so you know what he would need to do before you pursue it.

4 moms found this helpful

If you think he can handle washing his hands before putting them in, storing them appropriately, etc, then go for it. I didn't have any problems when I started with contacts (20+ years ago) at age 12, and contacts have gotten even easier since then.

3 moms found this helpful

I got my first pair when I was in 8th grade (which was the youngest ever heard of back in the 70's). My glasses were tremendously thick and heavy and it was a relief to wear contacts.
He's got to be able to keep them clean and to be serious about the possible infections that can arise from improper care. Always have a back up pair of glasses for emergencies.
Over the years I lost very few, tore edges of a few others, and I discovered colored lenses years before they made them because of wearing them under goggles in science lab and iodine gas binds with them. Mine turned a yellowish brown.
Even the most gas permeable lenses need to be kept off the eye long enough for it to breathe. Since I was so near sided I was at risk for blood vessels growing into my irises due to wearing them every waking minute.
At the age of 37 I tried Lasik and have not had to wear contacts or glasses since then. I'm just now getting to the point where I need reading glasses sometimes.

2 moms found this helpful

I got my first pair right before 6th grade.

Of course they were the hard ones.. Yuck.. but I was able to adjust to them and care for them without the school morning rush..

So I guess it depends on the maturity of your child. Explain they are expensive and if he is not a good caregiver to them, he can get a terrible infection.

Also I could not wear them to swimming The changing room did not have a mirror. so I still had to have my glasses for most of the summers,

2 moms found this helpful

if he is able to put them in on his own i say why not? but it will be up to you to oversee that he is taking care of the contacts and his eyes properly.

personal pet peeveof mine when ppl let there kids take complete control of adult tasks...aka feeding the family pet and suddenly they realize its been days since they noticed the kid feeding it. its still up to the parent to make sure the task is actually getting done.

2 moms found this helpful

I had contacts at age 10. I think it depends on the kid though. Is he responsible overall?

The main thing is you have to be good about hand washing before putting your contacts in and make sure to disinfect them regularly. Or you have a higher chance of infection.

1 mom found this helpful

My kids got them at almost 15 (his choice-he just never wore his glasses before then-but realized he couldn't drive without being able to see), 12 and almost 11. They are now 19, 15 and 13 and have had no problems with them. I will say the younger two-girls- have a tendency to go through them a bit quicker than they are supposed to. Their lenses are supposed to last two weeks but sometimes they'll have them a week and end up somewhere sleeping over with no place to put their lenses, so they toss them. Since I would rather them be safe I try not to get too worked up about this and just budget for a six month supply lasting 5 months!
I think if it is his idea then he will probably be successful.

1 mom found this helpful

I think if he is responsible enough for them which is sounds like he might be since he is looking for options for glasses then i would allow it.

We don't wear glasses or contacts at our home but in my experience teaching, I see a lot of 5th graders wearing contacts.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband was just at the eye doctor. While I was waiting I asked the person at the desk about that. She told me usually between ages 11 & 12 their eyes are full size. She said the doctor is the best to decide when their eyes are ready for contacts, but the prescribe contacts after they are fully grown. I was surprised because I would have thought they kept growing just like they keep growing.

1 mom found this helpful

The girl that i sat next to in 6th grade (so 11 years old) way back in 1981 wore contacts - she got them that year.

I'd say that if your child can handle the responsibility of taking care of them and knowing how serious keeping them clean is - then go for it.

1 mom found this helpful

It just depends on the kid. Got my kid some at 13. At first I got her daily wear, but I had to stay on her constantly about cleaning them and she would loose them, say it fell out. So I switched up to the disposables. No cleaning, and when she mysteriously lost one, she had plenty more.

1 mom found this helpful

Ask your doctor about Daily disposable contacts. I just got those, and they are so easy to deal with. No cleaning, disinfecting, storing, etc. Just put a pair in in the morning and then take them out and throw them away at night. I'm not sure how they compare in price, but I don't want to or need to wear them every day, so for me they were a good choice.

1 mom found this helpful

i say NO to contacts! i wore contacts since my senior year of high school (age 17/18). always soft lenses, always "breathable" and was always very good about taking care of them. but over the past 2 yrs i developed a SEVERE case of contact lens related keratitis. lack of oxygen to the eyes clouds the cornea. i almost had to have surgery - i'm only 39 and was looking at cornea surgery! i was on antibiotics and steroids to clear my corneas. I went to Dr. Starck at ultravision and was told that no matter how much air lenses let in, no matter how breathable they say they are, you still are putting a lens directly on the surface of the eye, and this can starve the eyes of oxygen over time.
PLEASE, no contacts. they are hard to keep clean/insert/care for as an 11yr old (even a responsible one) and they are very bad to fall asleep in or keep in for more than a few hrs a day. if he is in some highly active sport, maybe get them just to wear for games, but NO CONTACTS!

1 mom found this helpful

I was about 9-10 when I got mine, been wearing them for almost 20 years now. I left them in for a week straight the first few months I had them and got a majorly painful eye infection that took a while to heal, but I definitely learned my lesson and never neglected care after that! So, as long as he really understands how to take care of them, then he is certainly old enough.

1 mom found this helpful

I got mine at 12, after having glasses and hating them. At first my mom would remind me at night to clean the case, change the solution and take them out EVERY night. But it didn't take long for it to become a routine for me and I never had a single problem with them. I don't think your almost 11yr old would have any problems as long as you help him get into a nightly routine with them.

1 mom found this helpful

Make sure that the child is responsible enough to take care of the. Cleaning, and remembering to take them out of his eyes is very important. You mentioned that he wants contacts? If he doesn't NEED them, then he can wait a few more years.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that contacts, unless they are needed for a sport, should be held off on until the child is old enough and responsible enough to care for them. I cannot tell you how many times I heard of someone getting an eye infection because they slept in them or didn't clean them when they were too young to be responsible for their contacts.

1 mom found this helpful

I was 15. It's a lot of responsibility to care for them.

My husband has worn contacts for 25 years, so we're pretty diligent about getting in to see our eye doctor annually. Our youngest had her first appointment with him a few months after she turned 4, and we found out that she is -severely- farsighted, with astigmatism.

We asked our doc about our options. Obviously, we immediately started her in glasses. He said that with most kids, he starts them in contacts, when they're 10-12 years old, and eventually she can get lens implants (Lasik is only an option if you're nearsighted). However, given how BAD her eyesight is, he said that contacts would probably offer her a much better clarity, than glasses. We found a company that makes soft lenses in the higher prescriptions, and just for grins, we decided to give them a try and ordered a couple of trial pairs. My husband and I help her put them in and take them out each day, and she's actually done it herself, a couple of times (with close supervision & guidance).

She's done really well with them, and loves that she can wear sunglasses and do cartwheels without having to worry about her glasses.

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