Soccer tryouts are back again and your teen is becoming antsy with thoughts of the new school year. While it’s important to check off their school checklist with new books and binders we have one request: If they wear contact lenses, review the significance of proper eye hygiene.
Young people are notoriously poor at caring for their contact lenses and this creates the potential for eye infection. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has declared August “Back to School Eye Health Month” to promote proper care and healthy practices in adolescents with vision impairments.
At Pediatric Eye Care of Maryland, we typically wait until the teenage years before considering contact lenses, but sometimes we prescribe contact lenses to children who are younger if their parents really feel they are responsible enough to care for them properly.
Once you have ensured that your child understands the importance of contact care, you and your child will be able to enjoy the many benefits that come with wearing contacts. They’re great for athletes since sometimes sports goggles can block peripheral views slightly. (However, contact lenses obviously do not provide protection from injury). And during the school day, your child will not have to worry about cleaning his or her glasses and can focus on math instead!
Many eye infections caused by poor contact care can be prevented by following these contact lens care guidelines.
Replace your Case
The start of a new school year means a new pair of shoes to suit your child’s fashion sense and it means a new case to promote a clean and healthy set of contacts. Replacing your teen’s contact case every 3 months will promote healthy, germ-free eyes.
Leave Your Contacts Out of the Pool
Your child made the soccer team! Every day after school, they come home sweaty and ready for bed. Remind them to remove their contacts before the shower and ANY water activity they might participate in during the school year.
Never Sleep in Your Contacts
In a similar vein as showering, your child should never sleep with their contacts. Reminding your child to remove their contacts every night before bed will lower their risk of infection and will lengthen the life of their contacts lenses.
As a parent, stress the importance of cleanliness in your child’s eyes. If they follow these 3 simple rules, they could go their entire middle/high school career without an eye infection.
It is important to take the time to notice changes in your child’s eyes, and to teach them how to notice these changes themselves. Symptoms of eye infections include redness, pain and light sensitivity, and puffiness. These symptoms should be examined immediately so that the treatment process can begin as quickly as possible.
Call us at 410.433.8488 or visit our website for all of our back-to-school eye exams and services!