We have had great response to our Infant contact tips 101post. Ive been thinking about doing another one for quite and I figured it was time to do a new post! Anyone who has had to put a contact into their child’s eye knows how hard it can be. I know Im always up for some tips.
A quick note. Most children who wear contacts because they are a medical necessity. A lot of children in contacts are aphakic (meaning they have no lens in their eye). The contact lens replaces the lens in their eye. This is very common with children born with congenital cataracts among other reasons. I would not suggest doing contacts in children unless it is needed. It is not easy in any way. Many kids in contacts still have to wear glasses over the contacts.
- Be consistent. Be firm: This is a hard one for me. We used to be in the Silsoft lenses which meant that we could leave the contact in for weeks at a time before taking it out to clean it. Now we are in a RPG hard lens which needs put in and taken out every day. Some days I really want to just put on his Aphakic glasses and not do a contact even though I know he can see better with his contact than glasses. I have learned from experience that being consistent is key with kids and contacts. If we consistently do the contact every day Scott doesn’t cry as much, he isn’t as scared and he settles down afterwards a LOT quicker.
- REWARDS HELP! Small daily rewards and occasional big ones can be a huge help, especially until you get into a routine. It’s not fun to be pinned down and have a contact put in. It really helps if they know they’re getting something good out of it. For some its a star burst candy, mini marshmallow or an M&M, for us we have a simple prize box. I fill it with simple treats and small toys I find on sale. (Every morning after contact time my son gets to pick something from the box) Once you have a routine down and the fighting is less you can stop doing daily rewards since it will be a part of their routine.
- GET THEM COMFORTABLE WITH CONTACTS! Let your child play with an old contact. I let my son pretend to put it in his stuffed animals’ eyes or my eyes. He likes to look at it and touch it. I only use one that we no longer use for his eye or I use an old rx contact of mine that I have laying around. You don’t want to get the usable contact lenses dirty or ripped!
- TRY DIFFERENT THINGS, FIND WHAT WORKS: We tried sitting in front of a mirror to show him what’s going on, it didn’t stop the wrestling but he started to acknowledge what was going on. Simple trial and error may help you.
- TRY TO KEEP CALM: Smile at them the whole time you are getting it in (make it a game, something that is not to be feared). Many parents sing a calming song to their child or talk to them in a gentle voice. If you are struggling and its taking longer than you would like, remember you can take a break! You can also count to 3 when you go to take it out so they know to stay still. Count slow and never say 3 until it’s out.
- DISTRACTIONS: Sometimes it can be easier to give your child a bottle or Squeezy yogurt so their hands are busy. Once a child is more comfortable with contact time, you may be able to set them in front of a TV show and sneak it out when they are not thinking about it.
- READ ABOUT CONTACTS: Some kids really love books. If your child does I highly suggest one of Juliette Vignola’s
books about contacts. She has writtten a few fun books for kids who wear contacts, glasses and patches. My favorite is “my naughty contact lens!” Books may help your child to understand better and hold still, just like the child in the book. .
- FIND FRIENDS FOR SUPPORT: This is a BIG one for us! You may think you are the only one who is doing contacts but trust me, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Find support. Visit some of the support groups I listed in my previous contact tips post but also try and find others in your area. Since we have started our contact journey 3 years ago we have since found and created an AMAZING group. We try to meet up as often as we can to talk, play and complain together. Believe me it helps! We don’t all live super close but have found common places to meet up to play. One of which is our local eye doctors office!
- COMMUNICATION: Yes, it will get better. Lots and lots of talking about what and why will help. Help get your child involved. Ask them to bring you THEIR case and THEIR contact solution. Remember to talk about how the contact will help THEM see. Tell them this every time. Eventually they get it.
“Dude! This lens is going in, no matter what. No doubt about it, it’s happening. If you help me and don’t struggle, you get an M&M! (Jamie)”
- FIND THE RIGHT HOLD: Until your child gets comfortable with contact time, you will most likely have to hold them down to get it in and out. You will need to find the right way to hold them and stop them from grabbing at their eye. We have my husband hold my son while I put the contact in. I have been able to take out his lens by myself by sitting on top of him, with his arms under me and his head in-between my knees. I can normally get his contact out quickly this way. Remember it will take some time for them to get comfortable with contact time and not cry. Just keep up the hard work and remember you are doing your best.
- TIME OF DAY: Find what is right for your family. Some find it’s easier to put the contact in before their child is fully awake. We do it in the morning before dad goes into work. It’s easier for me to take it out when he’s playing before he gets too tired.
- YES! This was one of the scariest things for me when we first started doing contacts. Countless times I have checked my son’s eye to find the contact missing. (my heart sinks every time) I have learned the first thing to do is to check his eye. Many times he will rub the lens a little too hard and it will get moved to a different part of the eye.
- Sometimes the lens will show back up later. When we were in soft contact lenses it would move back into place after some time. Sometimes I would search his eye and not find a lens and be sure it was lost on the floor somewhere, later I would find it in his eye hiding. With Hard contacts we normally know when it is lost in his eye, it irritates his eye more and he will normally tell me or cry when it hurts. If the contact gets lost in the eye its normally in the bottom or around the corner of the eye.
- Check under the eye lid (With soft contacts lenses gently rub the bottom eye lid when the eye is closed from the bottom up) For hard RGP lenses I normally have to remove the contact and insert it again where its supposed to be.
- Use eye drops to get it to move more freely. It helps! Good luck!
- This is a good question. If anyone can tell me this I would love to know. We have been doing a contact since 4 weeks old and my son is now 3 years old. Scott is finally starting to notice and tell me if his contact is gone but most of the time he wont tell me, just because he doesnt want me to put it back in. 😉 Stubborn boy.
- Yes, it’s amazing how easy it gets to take out and put in a contact lens. I didn’t think I could do it and it was hard at first. Now it’s simple and done in no time! It will become routine.
- I use to cry because I would feel defeated if I couldn’t get the contact out on my first, second or even third try. Sometimes are easier than others I try a couple times and if I can’t get it, I stop and try a little later
- It gets easier all the time for us. This last week for the VERY FIRST TIME we were able to insert and remove scott’s contact without having to hold him down at all. He sat on a chair all by himself. For us that is HUGE! It gives me a lot of hope to know he is learning, even when we have a hard day. IT GETS EASIER!!!!! WAHOOOOOO!!!
- This is something that I feel like is always debated on the support groups and facebook pages. Personally I think it is up to you and what your doctor thinks is best. While we were using silsoft contact lenses we removed the lens every couple weeks to clean and put back in. This worked great for us. Some people insert and remove the silsoft lenses every day. Whatever you and your doctor decide to do, dont feel bad about it. Your doing your best! At the beginning of our contact journey, I don’t think I could have handled a daily insert and removal. Just do what you can!
- On a side note. We did switch to hard RGP contact lenses right before my son turned 3. At the same time we switched to daily insertion and removal. It was hard at first. LIKE REALLY HARD! But now he is getting into a routine and getting better. The more consistent we are about daily contact time the better he is.
- It’s just like going potty and brushing teeth– you’ve gotta do it! Stay consistent on the order in which you do it daily and he will catch on! Of course they all go through phases of fighting it, but your awesome, you can handle it!!!
- We use a plunger. Our doctor gave us one and we now have a couple around the house incase I need to take out his contact. I always try to have one in my purse as well. When I was in Junior High and started wearing RGP lenses, I couldn’t remove my contacts without the plunger. The little plunger is a huge blessing.
- If you use the plunger, let the lens come to you. Don’t use a lot of pressure with the plunger just let it stick to it. The plunger is kind of like a contact magnet so it shouldn’t be hard. Put a very small drop of saline solution on the plunger and get the plunger right in the middle of the contact going straight on. Try very hard not to stick the plunger directly to the eye. From personal experience I can tell you this hurts!
- Loosen the contact by putting your finger in the center of the closed eyelid and drawing a circle clockwise then counterclockwise. This will loosen the seal of the contact.
- Use the sides of your index finger & thumb to pinch out the lens (pinch wide from the corners of the eye)
- Another way is to put your finger on the center of the lens and swipe toward the outside corner or to the bottom cul-de-sac, pinching it when it is loose or falls onto the cheek with a blink.
- For infants when trying to remove a lens on your own, Put your baby in the car seat or carrier or Swaddle your baby, laying him/her flat on the floor, changing table or bed.
- Some Toddlers & older children like to sit in a chair and watch TV Or you can sit on top of them like I talked about above.
- You would be surprised how long the contact is good when out of the eye. We were always told to soak and disinfect the contact. I always soaked it over night in solution and inserted it again in the morning. Make sure to check the lens and make sure it has no rips or tears.
- If folded, don’t try to unfold!
- Keep it in the solution to disinfect for at least 15 min, overnight if it was dry for more than an hour
- Look closely at the contact. If it has any chips on the edge, rips, cracks, or seems to not have its regular bowl shape, it must be replaced.
Don’t give up and try your best. Doing contacts in children is NOT easy. We all struggle at times but keep on going! Someday you may have a day like we had today! WAHOOOOO! I never thought the day would come when Scott would let me put his contact in! I want to JUMP FOR JOY! When you have a day like that, shoot me a message! Ill jump for joy with you! Keep it up everyone.
Don’t forget to check out our Infant Contact tips 101 post. If you have any other contact questions, let us know. Comment below and we will try to answer them!