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5 Facts About UV Eye Protection and Kids

Did you know that 50% of lifetime UV damage occurs before the age of 10? Protecting your child’s eyes from the sun is one of the most important things you can do. Failing to protect the eyes from exposure to the sun can cause a range of serious eye conditions, including:

  • Eye cancer

  • Macular degeneration

  • Cataracts

  • Ultraviolet keratitis

  • Pterygium

Yikes! Fortunately, there are plenty of UV eye protection glasses out there that can protect your child’s eyes from infancy through young adulthood and beyond. Learn more about why it’s so important to keep a pair or two handy for your little one by reading the following facts about UV eye protection and kids.

Do Kids Need UV Eye Protection?

The short answer to this question is YES!

Little eyes are super sensitive, which is why half of the UV damage our eyes will incur in a lifetime occurs before age 10. Since regular glasses don’t protect against UV rays, it’s super important to ensure that your kids are wearing UV eye protection glasses (most often referred to as sunglasses) – even on cloudy days.

The Difference Between UVA and UVB rays

Before uncovering the myths and facts about sun damage and UV eye protection, it’s important to understand what UV, UVB, and UVA rays are.

UV rays come from the natural energy that’s produced by the sun. While your eyes can’t see UV rays, your skin can definitely feel them. UVB and UVA rays are the two types of UV light that have been proven to contribute to a host of physical problems, including skin cancer.

UVB rays, or ultraviolet B rays, are the waves of light produced by the sun that cause your skin to burn after prolonged exposure.

UVA rays, or ultraviolet A rays, are the waves of light produced by the sun that are responsible for causing the skin to age prematurely.

While UVA and UVB rays can cause eye damage, understanding the facts and knowing how to protect your eyes from them is your best and most effective defense.

UV Eye protection chart

5 Facts About UV Eye Protection and Kids

It’s crucial to understand the myths and facts about sun damage and UV eye protection so that you can keep your child safe and protected all year long. Here are the five most important facts about UV eye protection and kids.

Myth: Infants and young children don’t need to wear sunglasses.

Fact: With 50% of lifetime UV damage occurring before the age of 10, it’s just as essential for infants and young children to wear UV eye protection as it is for them to wear sunscreen.

Child with sunglasses enjoying a sunny day at the park

Myth: Kids don’t need to wear sunglasses in winter or on cloudy days.

Fact: Winter glare can be tougher on a baby’s eyes than a day at the beach. Snow reflects much more of the sun’s rays than sand or water, and clouds don’t stop them from reaching our skin and eyes. Kids should wear protective sunglasses as much as possible throughout the year.

Myth: All sunglasses provide UVA and UVB protection.

Fact: Many sunglasses – especially ones made for kids – are nothing more than fashion accessories, made with fake or poor-quality lenses. These types of glasses do not provide protection against UV, UVA, or UVB rays. Always be sure to look for a tag, sticker, or description with the label ‘UV protection’ or ‘lens category 3.’

Child with sunglasses enjoying a sunny day on the slide

Myth: The darker the lens, the better the protection.

Fact: Dark lenses that aren’t designed for UV protection can actually cause more harm than good, as they cause the pupils to dilate. This will increase the amount of harmful solar radiation your eyes are exposed to.

Myth: Sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection are too expensive.

Fact: There are so many high-quality eye protection options available today for $20 or less, and you can’t put a price on the health and well-being of your children.

Don’t underestimate the power of the sun and the light you can’t see. Keep your child’s eyes protected all year long with a high-quality pair of UV eye protection sunglasses.

Child with sunglasses and mother enjoying a sunny day at the park
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