When can kids wear contacts?

When can kids wear contacts?

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Children with poor eyesight may ask for contacts instead of glasses, or their parents may push for it, but dotors say to hold on.

Maybe a child is teased for wearing glasses, or they participate in sports, dance or theater and glasses get in the way so they want contacts instead, but Dr. Robert Hoffman at the University of Utah's Moran Eye Center says contacts come with risks.

"Eyes don't tolerate having a foreign body sitting on the front of them day in and day out, they need a break," he said.

Dr. Hoffman says a child needs to be motivated enough to take care of contacts by themselves. That could be at age 8, or 18.

"When they are at a point in maturity when they can deal with taking the lenses in and out, take care of all the care of the lenses, and, importantly, deal with anything that might come up with the lens at school," he said.

Dr. Hoffman says kids must understand how to take care of lenses.

"Contact lenses need to be taken out every night for the same reason we suggest kids change their socks and underwear on a daily basis," he said.

He says one consolation is glasses frames are more stylish now for kids than they used to be. Plus, parents should realize that glasses are cheaper in the long run than contacts, and they get the job done.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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Mary Richards


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