By Michael Hutton 

Contact lenses for children  could be a much more significant treatment option for children if parents didn't reject the wishes of their offspring according to a new survey by Mumsnet, the online parenting community. Indeed, the degree to which views differed between children and their parents on how their vision defect should be corrected was staggering given that almost half of the children surveyed confirmed that they had requested contact lenses. Yet according to the children, 38% of the parents said their glasses were perfectly suitable whilst 33% simply didn't think their child was sufficiently responsible to wear contact lenses. At a time when short-sightedness in particular is reaching near-epidemic proportions, it looks like the parents themselves are being ‘short-sighted' in their attitudes.

Psychologist Emma Kenny, a parent whose child has required vision correction since the age of four, said: "A growing body of research in this areas demonstrates that children as young as eight-years-old who need vision correction are capable of wearing and caring for contact lenses." This is particularly the case for ortho-k contact lenses for children  who are short-sighted which are only worn while sleeping. Parents can supervise the child inserting the lenses at bedtime and then make sure they are removed after they wake up and placed in cleaning solution. Ortho-k lenses not only correct short-sightedness - they prevent it from deteriorating further as revealed in various research  studies.

The survey reported that mothers who do not require vision correction are 70% more likely to agree that their child is not ready for contact lenses, compared to 50% who wear some form of vision correction. And just 11% admitted to giving contact lenses ‘serious consideration' for their child. Yet almost half (47%) of children believe they are ready to responsibly wear and care for contact lenses. This divergence of view is difficult to accept especially with ortho-k contact lenses for children  since these unique lenses allow the child to participate fully in the classroom, in the playground and on the sports field to the obvious benefit of their academic and personal development.


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