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Is My Child Ready for Contact Lenses?

There's a good chance that your big kid is indeed ready to make the switch from eyeglasses to contact lenses—and it may even be good for her. Research shows that kids with contacts generally feel better about the way they look and the way they perform at sports than kids with glasses, and that may lead to better peer interaction, says Jeffrey J. Walline, O.D., assistant professor at Ohio State University College of Optometry. First ask your eye doctor if contact lenses are appropriate for your child. Then consider the following questions carefully before you make the final call:

Does she really want them?

Being unhappy with her glasses will likely make her more dedicated to caring for her contacts.

Is she generally clean and tidy?

If your child normally washes her hands and is good at brushing her teeth, she'll probably be diligent about eye care as well.

Is she responsible?

Look at whether she turns in her homework on time or tells you where she's going with her friends. Kids should be mature enough to insert, remove, and clean their contacts daily. Disposables can minimize the effort but will cost more.