Kids Go to ER for Contacts

By Elizabeth Temple - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Thousands of children and teens go to the emergency room suffering injuries and complications from medical devices. The most common culprit is contact lenses. In fact, about 17,000 kids and teens go to the hospital every year because of problems with their lenses.

"If it's a problem that's not treated right away then it can cause corneal scars and that type of thing," said Dr. Donavon LaFleur, Ophthalmologist at The Eye Clinic.

Seven year old Abigail Verret wears contacts everyday and has not had any problems.

"She loves them and she wouldn't go back," said Kayla Verret, Abigail's mother.

Abigail says it was not easy getting used to the contact lenses.

"First when I put them in, it started to burn," said Abigail.

No matter what the child's age, Dr. LaFleur recommends that the contacts be removed every single night.

"The daily disposable lens is what I generally recommend for especially active kids involved in sports and dancing...gymnastics...that kind of thing. It generally is for everybody the healthiest lens," said Dr. LaFLeur.

Abigail does dance competitions, so when glasses got in her way she switched to contacts. She began wearing the lenses when she was 6 years old.

"Literally any...we actually fit babies in contacts when its necessary...generally around age 6 to 9 even preteens," said Dr. LaFleur.

He does recommend that the child have a certain level of maturity.

"She comes to me before brushing her teeth and says its time to take my contacts out," explained Kayla Verret.

Dr. LaFleur also says parents must make sure their children use fresh solution, disinfect the case and throw the case away at least every three months. He also says with soft contact lenses nowadays, instead of hard contacts, the likelihood of scratching the cornea is much less.

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