Contact lenses and glasses for Children and Teens
If you would have told me a few months ago that Contact lenses were available for Children to use, I would have probably thought it was nonsense. This was until my sons Jake’s last appointment at the opticians.
Jake has always worn glasses and never complained that they felt uncomfortable or he was embarrassed to be seen in them, this was until he turned eleven and started High school.
Throughout Primary School, Jake kept a pair of glasses at home and one at School this was because he was forever forgetting to bring them home.
It cost me more money as he needed adult size glasses and of reasonable quality and style, I was forever finding them on the floor or all chewed on the end, so we had to replace his glasses on a regular basis which added up to a fair amount of money.
When he joined High school I noticed the glasses were not being put into his school bag, I reminded him to take his glasses with him as it was incredibly important to look after the health of his eyes.
Jake was very honest with me and told me he didn’t want to wear them at High school as people would think he was a ‘nerd’, his words not mine. I think Jake is at an awkward age where they want to fit in and not be too different, wearing ‘nerd’ style glasses when you are say 15 plus are actually classed as very fashionable.
We explained to the opticians honestly that Jake was not wearing his glasses as much as he should. Incase it had made a difference to his vision .The optician asked Jake why he didn’t like glasses and if he would prefer to wear contact lenses. This was the first time I had even heard of them being available for Children. I was utterly speechless, first that he had offered my son contact lessons and second that he completely addressed Jake and didn’t even consult me.
Last time I checked I was the adult and Jake was the child. Jake wasn’t liking the sound of having to put something in on his eyes on a daily basis and caring for them, a little bit like too much hard work for an eleven year old.
I can however see advantages of having 1 day acuvue moist multifocal contact lenses such as a more positive effect on their physical appearance, athletic ability and social acceptance. If there confidence would be considerably boosted by exchanging glasses for contact lenses then that can only be a positive thing.
If Jake asked me in a couple of years time for contact lenses and could show me that he was mature enough to take care of them, with my help of course, I would not have any objections.
I wear glasses myself for reading, driving and computer work but wear contact lenses for special occasions and exercise.
A survey was conducted online with 1,014 responses by Mumsnet users split between children and parents, below is the summary of major findings.
Overall eight in ten parents (82%) surveyed say their child’s positive self-esteem is critical to them as a parent. Ensuring their child is comfortable/confident among peers (58%), getting good grades/doing well in school (51%) and being comfortable with how they look (51%) are also seen as important to parents.
Having their child feel comfortable/confident among peers and how they look is viewed as being “absolutely critical” by 61 percent of parents of girls compared to 55 percent of parents of boys. Over half of parents with girls (54%) feel that their daughter being comfortable with how she looks is “absolutely critical,” compared to 47 percent of parents with boys.
Three-fifths of children surveyed (60%) say their critical priority is getting good grades in school, but almost as many (58%) say being comfortable/confident among their friends is “absolutely critical.” Girls say that being comfortable/confident amongst their friends is more important (67%) than getting good grades in school (62%), while boys feel that getting good grades/doing well in school (57%) is more important than being comfortable/confident among their friends (46%).
Around one-third of children surveyed (36%) say the views of their friends on their appearance (eyes,skin, hair) are a major concern, with 42 percent of girls citing it as a “major concern” compared to 28 percent of boys. This is most important for the age group of 14-15 year olds, with 41 percent of this group saying the views of their friends on their appearance is a “major concern.”
Attitudes about glasses
More than half (58%) of children surveyed said they like wearing glasses, while one-third (33%) say they do not like wearing them. Younger children aged 10 – 14 (60%) are more likely to say they enjoy wearing their glasses compared to just over half (53%) of older teens aged 15 – 17.
Two-fifths (42%) of children who wear glasses say they sometimes feel self-conscious when wearing them. Girls (44%) are slightly more likely than boys (39%) to say they sometimes feel self-conscious when wearing glasses.
Attitudes about contact lenses
The vast majority of parents surveyed (92%) say that their child likes wearing contact lenses, which correlates with 93 percent of children who agree that they like wearing contact lenses. Earliest Age for a Child to Wear Contact Lenses Two in five parents (40%) say they are comfortable with the idea of contact lenses for adults but not for children, and that they do not feel their child is old enough to wear contact lenses.
On average, parents believe that the ‘right’ age for children to start wearing contact lenses is 14 years old. One fifth (21%) think it should be at age 16, while 13 percent believe a child can start wearing contact lenses at age 12. Only one in five parents (17%) are aware that children as young as 8-years old are capable of contact
Parents who themselves don’t need vision correction are significantly more likely to agree that their child is not ready for contact lenses (70%) versus parents who wear some form of vision correction (50%). Attitudes are similar between parents of boys (55%) and parents of girls (51%). Slightly less than half (46%) of children ages 10-14 say their parents don’t feel they are ready to wear contact lenses.
Visit the acuvue website to read more results from the survey
Both glasses and contact lenses are good options for people who need vision correction. Parents should talk to their eye care professional about what vision correction options are best for their child. To locate an Eye Care Professional in your area, visit the “Find an Optician” tab at www.acuvue.co.uk
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“I wrote this review while participating in an influencer campaign by Mumsnet on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate”