Contact lenses are a popular choice among adults who prefer them to wearing glasses. Perhaps that's because their job or a hobby makes glasses inconvenient or maybe just because they don't like the way glasses look on them.
Children can be even more self-conscious than adults about the way glasses look, which can lead to them requesting contact lenses. In many cases, this isn't advised until they're old enough to understand all the care and responsibility that comes with contact lenses. Sometimes, however, younger children are given lenses, either because the optometrist thinks they're a suitable candidate or because there's another medical reason why they're recommended. Here's how to help your child get used to wearing them.
Become an expert
Your child might have trouble understanding everything there is to learn about their new lenses, so it's important that you as a parent do all you can to learn on their behalf. That way, you can answer the child's questions right away, and you'll be able to spot any problems neither of you would otherwise have been aware of.
Make sure you take the opportunity to talk to the optometrist about anything you're unsure of during the child's appointments, and carefully read any information you're given. You can explain everything to your child later, but you need to understand it yourself first of all.
Because of the risk of infection when putting lenses it, it's highly important that the child does so with clean hands. The risk is higher among children, as they tend to get dirtier hands by playing outdoors.
Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly and get into good habits like checking how clean their hands are before they go anywhere near their eyes.
Some children take to lenses with great ease, which can be surprising for adults who are squeamish about touching their eyes. However, if your child is not so sure about putting lenses in, get them used to simpler actions first, like touching the eye with a bare finger. This will help prevent blinking when they're putting in or removing lenses, making it all more bearable. When you're at an eye test or checkup with your child, ask the optometrist for their expert advice on getting used to contacts.
You might find that your child is put off by the idea of wearing their lenses almost immediately. Given time, they'll almost certainly get used to it and enjoy wearing them, but it's up to you to encourage them. Don't let them give up easily, and give them positive reinforcement and praise when they make good progress.