Guest-Post: Contact Lenses For Your Children

This guest-post addresses an issue that I've recently been considering as The Boy gets older. The entirety of Mr. TBaM's family wear glasses, both my parents do, and his eyesight is something that I will constantly monitor. It's difficult to know when to take your child for their first eye-test, if they can't recognise letters then it makes it a bit tricky doesn't it? However, there are ways and means of getting around this problem in order to make sure his eye development is progressing properly.

Always in the back of my mind, is the little lad I taught eleven years ago who misbehaved in class, had atrocious handwriting and had a reading age of 6 when he was 10. I suggested his mum take him to the optician, and he came back with glasses so strong I couldn't see through them. By the end of the year, his reading age had crept back up to normal and he enjoyed class.

Some years ago, eye care was considered only an option for those with obvious poor vision. There used to be fewer selections when it came to contact lenses, and not everybody wants to rely on glasses. However, thanks to a great deal of advancement in everything from eye tests to contact lenses, eye care is now something that a huge percentage of families deal with at some point or another. This is one reason that parents need to be particularly aware of a number of different aspects of eye care with regard to their children. Getting your child off to a good start with corrective vision is very important, but it requires that as a parent you recognize the need for improved eyesight, and address it properly. Here are a few specific things to keep in mind.

  • Eye tests can’t be assumed or taken for granted. Though many schools provide eye tests for young children, you need to take specific steps as a parent to make sure that your young children have their eyes tested. Many kids go for years and years without even realizing that they aren’t seeing as well as they could be, and while poor vision is not as big a problem for a young child as for an older kid or adult, it still does not need to be tolerated. Make sure that your children have eye tests at appropriate ages, and save them the hassle of dealing with poor vision.
  • If you determine that your child does indeed need corrective vision, and he or she asks about contacts, don’t simply assume that contacts aren’t yet an option. There’s a popular opinion that contacts are not a good idea for young children, but in actuality major contact companies like Acuvue have options that may be suitable for your child. This is not to say that all contact lenses are suitable for all children, but there are options that could be better for your child.
  • Finally, remember that vision changes over time, and often quite rapidly in young children. Getting your child set up with contact lenses or glasses isn’t enough – you also need to make sure that your child has regular appointments, so that you can be sure the prescription stays up-to-date. Often, corrected vision is so superior to natural vision that a child won’t even notice when he or she needs a change in prescription. This is where regular appointments can come in handy.

Grant Pearson is a husband, father, and a former teacher. Grant now enjoys writing and contributing to blogs and magazines nationwide. His honesty and quick wit make him easy to relate to and intriguing.

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  1. Johanna says

    All my in-laws wear glasses, as do 2 of my sisters and lots of cousins on both sides of my family. P's eyesight is very poor (I have vague recollections of P and MrTBaM comparing prescriptions), so this is something I am also concerned about.
    I have been taking the girls for eye tests since R was 4 and E was a babe-in-arms. Our optician came highly recommended by the school nurse, the health visitor and several friends. When the girls were still learning their letters, the optician used shapes (house, aeroplane, bird, etc) or X and O instead of the usual letters. The girls have always been treated with respect; the optician talked to them directly rather than over their heads to me. One appointment occurred when we were hosting Monty, E's playgroup Travelling Ted. Monty had his eyes tested with E.
    So far, everything is OK.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      These things that they may inherit from their families are such a worry aren't they? I'm now constantly looking out for signs of this or that. (I remember them comparing glasses too and I was astounded that P's were stronger, I didn't think anyone had stronger than Mr. TBaM

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Alli Marshall says

    I will always carry the guilt of knowing that poor Emilie had very poor sight from birth that we didn't detect until she was at school. To her the world was fuzzy, it always had been.

    She attended all her clinic appointments & each time she had an eye test she was referred back again 3 months later to see if she would "comply" and do the final stages. It turned out that she wasn't tired because of the long test but that she couldn't actually see!

    Her poor sight only came into question when she started school & was repeatedly walking into objects including walls. I took her to the optician and was horrified when I got her prescription back.

    Fortunately as she was young her vision did improve slightly & her prescription is lower than it was previously but it is still bad.

    I am intrigued with the lenses for children. We have discussed laser surgery in the future for Emilie.

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