Most parents are well aware of the long term benefit of polarized sunglasses in protecting their own eyes from degenerative eye diseases and UV exposure. But many parents don’t realize how important it is to protect your children’s young eyes too.Just as your would always put sunscreen on your child when they are out in the sun, you should always put sunglasses on your child when in the sun as well. Sunglasses are literally sunscreen for your eyes.
Typically before age 18, you get 1/2 of your life’s sun exposure, and before the age of 8 is when the most sun damage occurs. Even wearing a hat is not enough. Only 50% of the sun’s rays are blocked.
UVA and UVB Sunglass Protection
Kids should begin wearing sunglasses as young as 6 months old and they need to be good quality. Cheap sunglasses that don’t have UVA and UVB protection can actually be worse than wearing none at all. We recommend that children wear polarized polycarbonate lenses because of their safety as well as their inherent UVA and UVB protective properties. Choose sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays.
Tips for Buying Sunglasses for Your Child
-Give your child guidance but let them pick out the glasses. They are more likely to wear them if they like the way that they look.
-Always get children glasses and sunglasses with polycarbonate lenses. They are the safest lenses on the market and will give your child the best eye protection.
-Wear sunglasses yourself. It is acts as a good role model as well as offering good protection for your eyes.
-Consider buying an elastic head strap to make it harder for younger kids to take off the glasses.
The Optical Gallery at The Eye Associates carries children sunglasses and can even order in more styles if you don’t find something that you like. Just stop by any of our locations and take a look.