How To Help Your Child Transition To Contact Lenses

Transitioning from glasses to contacts can be a strange experience at any age but will be especially unusual for children. While the benefits of contact lenses are well worth the hassle – more freedom, more sports and less of a hefty bill to pay when glasses inevitably break, you may find that it takes younger wearers a little more time to get used to their new eyewear. Here’s how to help your child transition to contact lenses. 

Choose The Contacts That Will Best Suit Your Child’s Lifestyle 

There are different types of contact lenses on the market, each with their own benefits and advantages designed to suit individual lifestyles. Speak to your child’s optician to find out which one will be best suited to them personally. 

For a lot of children, daily disposable contact lenses are the most convenient as they’re safe and one of the lower maintenance types available. Daily disposable lenses get thrown away at the end of each day, so your child doesn’t need to worry about keeping them safe in storage or bother cleaning them. However, your optician may make a different suggestion based on your child’s individual requirements and needs. 

Keep Their Glasses For A Little While Longer 

Make sure you don’t get rid of your child’s glasses too soon, as they may need to switch between frames and their contacts while they get used to the feel of the lenses. Some opticians will recommend that younger children introduce the wearing of contact lenses very slowly, still wearing their glasses the majority of the time until they get used to the transition. There is also the small chance that your child doesn’t get used to the lenses and wants to return to their trusty specs – in which case you’ll wish you hung on to their expensive frames!

little girl with glasses

Ensure Your Child Knows How To Care For Their Lenses 

When transitioning to lenses, your child may need some support in understanding how to properly care for their new contacts. Ensure they know basic safety practices such as removing the lenses when taking a shower, swimming or going to sleep, as well as helping to familiarise them with how to properly insert and remove them. Though this can take a little time to figure out and get used to at the beginning, it will soon become second nature to your child, and they’ll get into a comfortable routine of how to care for their contact lenses. 

Help Them Get To Grips With The Importance of Hygiene 

While your child is learning how to look after their lenses, they also need to be encouraged to look after their eyes while wearing them, too. Fingers can carry a host of different germs and bacteria, especially with younger children, so understanding the importance of hygiene when wearing contacts is vital in reducing the chances of eye infections occurring. 

Highlight the importance of thoroughly washing their hands before putting their lenses in, or when removing them, to avoid problems occurring in and around the eyes. If they do notice any change in their eye health, it’s important to book an appointment with an optician as soon as possible. 

washing hands

Set A Routine For The Transition 

Setting a simple routine for your child to follow can help to ease them into their new practice of wearing contact lenses. One idea may be for them to wear their lenses only when they’re at home, at first, so that you can assist them should they need any help with putting in or removing the contacts. 

Another routine might include wearing the lenses at set times of the day while they get used to the feel of them, such as when they finish school. Simple routines such as these can not only help them adjust to their contact lenses at a slower pace but can also make the idea of wearing them feel much less daunting for those children who may be apprehensive of the change. 

To stay organised, it may also be a good idea to put together a contact lens kit that can be transported to and from school and other commitments, so that you can be safe in the knowledge that they have everything they need when out of the house. A kit could include the case for the contacts, replacement lenses and contact lens solution. 

Take It Slow 

Remember that there’s no set time scale for when your child will feel confident wearing their contacts – so try not to worry if it takes them a little longer to get used to the way they feel. A feeling of awareness is normal and common at first but will soon go away once they become more familiar with their lenses.