How old can kids start to wear contact lenses? According to The American Academy of Optometry, children at age 8 who are able to handle the contact lenses and are to some degree responsible make excellent candidates for contact lenses. The young patient is unique in that they are often dealing with many aspects in life along with being new to glasses. These areas include: school pressures, competition, developing motor skills/coordination, appearance is important in developing self-esteem, variable hygiene, sports, social pressures and most children develop near-slightness during this time between age 8 and 16. There have been two pivotal studies that looked at all of these areas to consider. The CLIP (Contact Lenses in Pediatrics) and The ACHIEVE (Adolescent and Child Health Initiative to Encourage Vision Empowerment) Study looked at the quality of living for children and adolescents comparing glasses wear to contact lens wear. The CLIP study showed there was a marked increase in the quality of living in the areas of: appearance, satisfaction and outside school activities with the use of contact lenses. It also concluded that there were no marked adverse events between glasses wearers vs. contact lens wearers. The ACHIEVE study concluded that the children and adolescents that were wearing contact lenses vs. glasses had an increase in: global self-worth, personal appearance, athletic competence, scholastic competence, and social acceptance. We believe here at the office that if the parents feel their children are responsible, kids make great contact lens candidates! If you are considering the benefits for your children to be fit with contact lenses, call the office and we can arrange a contact lens consultation. I started wearing contact lenses at age 12, and I know that it did make a big difference in my everyday life and sports. Consider it for you children!