Children and contact lenses

1 February 2008
Volume 09, Issue 1

How young is too young for contact lenses?


Contact lenses offer those children with a refractive error the same optical and mechanical advantages that they give a spectacle-wearing adult. They are also particularly needed for sporting and dance activities and can help in cases where the child is bullied by their peers. However, as one is dealing with a child or adolescent, certain issues have to be taken into account. For example the young person needs different handling techniques compared to an adult, due to age and lack of life experiences. The parents need to be involved as they are party to what you are doing but they still have to understand their role, as the child is the patient. Everyone needs to understand the risks and benefits of contact lens wear, why a particular lens type is chosen and the possible consequences of that decision. 

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The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning has written to NHS England urging them to commission a School Eye Care Service for children with special needs.

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