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When Should Your Child Get Contacts

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When Should Your Child Get Contacts

contact-lenses-las-vegas-300x199Every year there are children who dread going back to school due to having to wear eyeglasses, especially if they were prescribed them over the summer and it will be the first time their friends see them in glasses. Children may beg for the chance to wear contacts as opposed to glasses, and allowing them this chance may even be a great idea. Every adult can remember names like ‘four-eyes’ being thrown around to kids with glasses in grammar school, so allowing a child to wear contacts may save them a ton of heartache and improve their confidence. There are some important things to consider, however, when deciding if a child is old enough for contacts.

Wearing contacts is not really a matter of age; it is a matter of maturity. Wearing and maintaining contact lenses is a real responsibility that no parent should let their child take on lightly. Contacts must be put in and removed at certain times, they must be properly stored and cleaned and a doctor’s instructions must be stringently followed. If a child is not responsible enough to do small daily chores, there is a good chance they may not be mature enough for contacts. Some ten year olds realize the benefits of wearing contacts and treat them responsibly, while there are twenty year olds who should’ve never been put into them in the first place. In the end, it is the parent’s responsibility to choose whether or not their child is mature enough for contacts.

Parents who don’t see the benefit in contacts should also consider a few other facts. Contacts are actually much safer to wear than eyeglasses during sports. Since school is one of the few places that children don’t have the option to sit inside and play X-Box all day, contacts are ideal for the rough and tumble play they may experience at school. Contacts are also less likely than eyeglasses to be lost or misplaced. A child may have to remove their glasses for many reasons, and can misplace them if they aren’t paying attention. Contacts, on the other hand, usually have no need to be taken out except for before bedtime. There are many things a parent should consider before granting their child the chance to wear contacts, but in many cases, contacts can be a great choice.

National Children’s Vision and Learning Month

As August rolls around, parents with young children are preparing them to head back to school. Many parents think that getting paper, pencils, tissues and crayons is enough to prepare their children for heading back to class, but many fail to consider their children’s eyesight and the effect it can have on their education. August is the National Children’s Vision and Learning Month, and every parent should take notice and do what they can to ensure their child is ready for school.

Most parents think that simply having their children screened at school for 20/20 vision is enough to ensure they can read correctly. The College of Optometrists in Vision Development, however, specifies seventeen different visual skills that have a direct effect on learning, reading and life in general. These skills include sustaining alignment, spontaneous focus and sustaining focus, just to name a few. Impairment in any of these seventeen skills can directly affect a child’s ability to read, and thus, their ability to learn.

Some schools have cursory screenings for children’s eyesight, but these screenings are only capable of detecting five percent of visual problems. Other problems can go undiagnosed without a trip to an optometrist. Doctors will often check a child’s eyesight during each of their checkups, but a more complete examination performed by an optometrist should be done before a child enters school. Any vision problem can slow a child’s progress, and if left untreated may cause them to be held back during their school years. That’s why during National Children’s Vision and Learning Month, every parent should take a proactive stance in their children’s eyesight and schedule a comprehensive exam with their optometrist.