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Children’s Vision and Eye Care Basics

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If Your Child Needs Glasses

If your child needs glasses, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Younger children should have plastic frames for safety. All children should wear lenses made of impact-resistant plastic. To ensure safety, many states regulate what materials may be used in children’s glasses.

An optician with experience in fitting children’s glasses can help your child choose frames and lenses that are stylish and safe. “If possible, let your child choose her own frames,” adds Repka.

If your child wears glasses, the day may come when she asks for contact lenses. Repka says children often begin asking for contacts around the time they start middle school. He encourages parents to let their child’s maturity level and ability to take care of lenses guide their decision about purchasing contact lenses. “Proper hygiene and care are critical to lens use,” he says. “Normal kid behavior can become a problem.”

Very serious eye problems can develop from improper contact lens care. The greatest risk is corneal infection. “Although this condition is uncommon, it can be very serious and may require a corneal transplant,” Repka says.

Children’s eye exams are a powerful tool for overall heath and can help in many ways. Repka recalls a kindergarten student who had a routine eye screening at school. The exam was abnormal and, as a result, they discovered a rare brain tumor. That exam helped save his life.

“He had no symptoms and that visual acuity test was the only way it could have been discovered,” he says.

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Reviewed on September 02, 2011

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