Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Children and Contact Lenses

I wrote this review while participating in an influencer campaign by Mumsnet on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate

I very rarely write about my teen. After all he is a teen, he doesn't want the world reading about him, especially the type of things I could write!! When I was asked to write this post though, it had to be about him. 

@Mumsnetbloggers hosted a survey recently, asking how mums and dads felt about their children wearing contact lens, as compared to glasses. This is hugely relevant to our house. We all wear glasses, except for little A......who is going through the process of having his eyes tested. 

My eldest, KJ, had his 1st pair of glasses at the tender age of 18 months! We had noticed a squint from early on, it could of been passed off as 'the bridge of the nose' effecting it. I put that in '' because I believe, as a parent, you know the difference. We then realised that his eyes were actually a lot worse than we originally realised. His sight is highly compromised without glasses/contacts. As the years went by, the discussion about contacts came up, which leads us to the points that have been made in the survey. 

The survey was conducted by Mumsnet and Acuvue. The questions that were asked, were answered by both parents and the children that were affected. The survey was conducted throughout the UK, with a fairly good balance of areas. I would like to comment on a few of the findings, as they are discussions that were had in my house.

One of the first questions was about Goals and priorities. Most of the parents (82%) agreed that they're child's self esteem and comfort among peers was their biggest priority. What surprised me was the children's highest priority. 60% said that good grades were their most critical priority, with comfort among peers coming a close 2nd. 

I will be honest, comfort among peers was my highest priority. As he had worn glasses from such a young age, his grades had nothing to do with his eyesight. However, fitting in was always my worry. He was a young child wearing glasses, when most of his peers weren't. When he was very young it was easily solved with, readily available, character glasses. This meant his glasses became a talking point for all the  right reasons.

As he got older, he took no notice of his glasses, they became a part of him. It wasn't until his teens that his attitude changed, he started asking about contacts then. In all honesty, I was more than happy for him to make the change. He had always looked after his glasses really well, I had no doubt he would be the same with contacts.

This was another category in the survey, how old is 'old enough'. I would of probably trusted KJ at a younger age if he had asked, but he didn't. In the survey most parents felt that their children should be older to wear contacts, however studies done on children as young as 8, found they could be trusted to keep them clean and tidy. I personally think it depends on the child, I wouldn't trust my 'tween' with them, he doesn't look after his glasses.

  The biggest thing that was affected by wearing glasses (rather than contacts) up until his teens, was sports. He was very often asked, especially when he got to the Comprehensive, if he could take his glasses off to play sports. Many a time I would get annoyed! NO, he cannot go with out  his glasses, find something other than rugby for him to do!!

The survey is a good indication of how attitudes are changing to contacts vs glasses. As I said, he started wearing contacts, regularly, in his teens. Now at (almost) 16, he wouldn't be seen in public, in his glasses. The care and maintenance of his contacts are up to him, with the consequence being: having to wear glasses if he doesn't do it properly.

I would agree with the findings that both glasses and contacts are very good options for eye care. If you have any concerns about your child's eyes, go to the Acuvue site and click on the 'find an optician' tab. They are there to help you find the best option for your child

x OJO x

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