According to research published by the University of Iowa, contacts offer better vision correction than glasses and may even be able to slow the progression of nearsightedness. They work for children as well as adults, and many parents allow kids as young as 8 to wear contacts. On the surface, contacts make a lot of sense for children.
However, while contact lenses do not smudge or fog up, they are far from a perfect solution.
Many preteens (and teens, for that matter) are absent-minded when it comes to personal items. Lose your glasses, and you can usually find them. Contact lenses are far more difficult to spot, and the loss of a contact lens can bring a child’s day to a screeching halt unless he carries a spare pair.
In addition, lenses must be removed and cleaned on schedule, or the wearer risks such complications as allergic reactions, redness, irritation, and even infections. Many children aren’t ready for that level of responsibility.
When assessing whether contacts make sense for your child, consider his maturity in other areas. Does he do his chores without being asked? Does he remember most of his responsibilities and satisfy them promptly? If you can honestly answer “yes” to both questions, then consider allowing your preteen to wear contacts.