Contacts and Sports: What You Need to Know


Kids are not blind to the benefits of contact lenses, but are they safe for the active child? This is the kid that rough houses with siblings, plays football after school or is an active participant in the school drill team. Maybe the question you should be asking is how safe are eyeglasses when your child spends all his or her spare time shooting hoops or playing hockey.

Eyeglasses and sports don’t make good partners. Contacts are the best option for the active child who needs corrective lenses. With contacts, he or she is less likely to get injured and will play a better game. Being able to order contact lenses online make them a convenient option for busy parents, too.

The Benefits of Contact Lenses for Athletes

The Federal Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, recommends contacts lenses for kids that participate in sports, but what makes them a better choice? For one thing, contact lenses improve peripheral vision. It is possible to wear sports eyeglasses that wrap around the head, but they don’t offer the same unobstructed view that your child will get wearing contacts.

With glasses, you have to worry about fogging and splatter, as well, especially for outdoor sports like football or soccer. A child struggling to see on the field is at risk for injury. Eyeglasses, even the ones that claim to be unbreakable, do break eventually. That means sharp edges near not only your child but others in the game. One hard hit is all it takes to put everyone on the field in danger.

Contacts offer the stability that you won’t get with eyeglasses. Most sports glasses have straps to keep them in place, but they will still move around on the face. If you manage to get the straps tight enough to stabilize the glasses, they become uncomfortable.

Eye Safety in Sports

Even if you order contact lenses online for your child, parents must pay attention to sports eye safety. Many sports still require a child to wear protective eyewear even with contacts. The American Academy of Ophthalmology lists a few games where additional eye protection is necessary.

  • Racketball
  • Lacrosse
  • Field hockey
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Ice hockey
  • Skiing

The type eye protection depends on the sport. Some games require nothing more than a faceguard while others expect players to wear full goggles during a game.

What to Look for in a Contact Lens

When you order contact lenses online, consider what added features might benefit your little athlete. The child who is an avid skier might do better with daily lenses that are less drying, for example. A tennis player will want UV protection for those long days training in the hot sun.

Look for lenses that are resistant to protein deposits. When you train, you sweat and your eyes tear, so athletes need lenses that stay clean. You also should buy contacts that are less drying to support tired eyes playing after a long day of school.

Contact Lens Safety

Contact lenses are safer for active children, but it is up to you to teach your child how to stay safe when wearing them. This includes learning the proper way to insert and remove the lenses. Other safety tips include:

  • Remove the contacts when showering to reduce the risk of infection. This is especially critical in public settings like a school locker room.
  • Take contacts out at night. This is basic contact hygiene. When your child sleeps in contacts, the surface of his or her eye is more vulnerable to infection.
  • Don’t put contacts in your mouth. It is tempting to wet dry contacts in a pinch by putting them in the mouth, but that introduces bacteria to the lenses. Teach your child the right way to handle uncomfortable contacts even if it means leaving the game to take them out.

Active kids don’t think much about their eye health. It is up to parents to decide if your sport-minded child will benefit from contact lenses.

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