Eye Safety for Kids: Cleaning the Contact Lens Case

contact lenses and solution in front of drinking glass

(Editor’s note: This article is by Brett Oliveira of BuyMoreContacts.com. At BuyMoreContacts.com, you can order contact lenses online at discount prices. BuyMoreContacts offers a variety of contacts, including lenses such as Acuvue Oasys Toric and Proclear Multifocal.)

To maintain the health of your child’s eyes, their contact lenses need to be clean and free from any bacteria that might cause an eye infection. Your eyes naturally clean your lenses as you wear them, but at night, when they are stored in your lens case, you have to be careful that bacteria do not become a problem. Eye infection can result from lenses contaminated by dirty contact solution. This means that their contact lens case should be a clean and bacteria-free environment.

Make sure your children thoroughly wash their hands before putting in their lenses, using soap and hot water. After drying their hands and putting the lenses into their eyes (or putting them to one side in a separate bowl of contact solution), make sure to clean their case. This process involves hot water so it is important for parents with young children to take responsibility here!

1. First, pour away any old contact solution, and then rinse the lens case under hot running water. The water should be as hot as possible. Some people boil a cup of tap water in a microwave or boil a small pan of water on the stove, then drop the case and covers into the water for five to ten minutes. Boiling water will sterilize the case.

2. After cleaning their case in hot or boiling water, apply a pea-sized amount of mild liquid soap to a clean toothbrush and thoroughly scrub the case, paying particular attention to areas where solid matter may accumulate. This would be where the bottom of the case meets the case walls, similar areas in the caps and any screw threads. Rinse thoroughly with hot water to remove any traces of soap.

3. Rinse the case and covers with the same sterile solution that you use to clean their contact lenses, then either dry with a lint-free cloth or, preferably, allow to air dry. Make sure the cases are air dried upside-down so that no puddles of contact solution can pool and delay the drying process.

If you do not have time or the resources to sterilize their case in hot or boiling water, then you should at the very least inspect if for and remove any debris, then rinse the case with sterile contact solution.

Their lens case should be cleaned daily and replaced every 3 months or sooner if it should become cracked. Cracks are an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and will resist all but the most thorough attempts at cleaning.

Earnest Parenting: tips for parents whose children have contact lenses.

Photo courtesy of suanie via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

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  • Elizabeth Rennick October 26, 2013, 4:07 am

    I would also suggest getting your child disposable contacts. When you wear disposable contacts, the chance of infection is greatly reduced because you don’t have the contacts in your eyes forever. When you get through with them, you get to throw them away instead of going through the process of cleaning them- which as you see can be difficult for kids. I started wearing contacts in the 6th grade, and I know I didn’t take care of them as I should have. I wish they had had disposables when I was young. The only down side can be the price, but like the writer mentioned, you can buy them discounted online. I like to use multiple sites to get the best deals when they are being offered. One site was mentioned above, and I think they are great. I also use http://EnhanceMyVision.net where I got 10 bucks off lately because it was my first purchase there.

    Elizabeth Rennick
    mother of 3 girls

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