Do My Kids Really Need Sunglasses? How You Can Keep Your Child Safe from The Sun
Summer brings its full load of glory. Everyone’s excited about going to the beach, playing outside with the kids, and sunbathing once in a while. But for moms, they dread the UV rays that come from the big star and the effects they have on their kids.
Sunglasses are an option for eye protection in kids…but are they necessary?
That question will be answered in this piece. Dive in.
Are Sunglasses an Accessory or Necessity for Your Child?
According to research done by Medical Xpress, sunglasses are more than a fun accessory for kids. They help protect children’s fragile eyes from the sun’s UV rays.
During summer, it is advised that moms take their kids out with a pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.
Further research shows that ultraviolet rays cause skin and eye damage to children and babies. Moreover, children tend to be more exposed to the sun over the year than adults, putting them at higher risk.
Children’s eyes are still in very early stages of development compared to adult eyes. Thus, they cannot filter out as many UV rays as adults.
Sunglasses alleviate the risk of UV ray damage to your child’s eye by protecting the skin around the eyes and the eyeball itself.
Eye Conditions Caused by Excessive UV Radiation
If your child has been going outside without sunglasses for extended periods, these are some possible eye conditions they may develop.
Benign or Malignant Tumors
UV radiation causes the cells inside the eyes or on the eyes’ surface to divide abnormally. This can lead to the development of tumors that can be either benign or malignant (cancerous).
However, eye cancer is relatively rare. Australia, for instance, only reports 500 cases a year.
Macular Degeneration and Cataracts
Sun exposure is believed to also negatively affect the retina, eye’s lens, and macula. The eyes’ lens refracts light into the eyes, the retina captures the light, and the macula provides detailed central vision.
Due to excessive UV rays on these eye parts, the affected patient can develop cataracts or macular degeneration.
What to Look for In Your Kid’s Sunglasses
Sunglasses are no doubt necessary for protecting your child’s vision. But how do you select the right pair?
These are some things to consider when choosing your kid’s sunglasses.
A pair of sunglasses can be a mere accessory if it doesn’t provide appropriate UV protection. The American National Standards Institute’s guidelines require sunglasses to block 99% - 100% UVA (long-length) and UVB (short-length) rays.
If your child wears corrective lenses, consider getting prescription sunglasses or photochromic lenses (or transitioning lenses) that darken into sunglasses when exposed to UV rays.
Kids are an active bunch. Consider getting sunglasses made from impact-resistant polycarbonate with scratch-proof lenses. They’ll be able to take most of the beating kids will throw their way. The frames should also be bendable and flexible, so you can save yourself from an expensive mistake! The fit should be snug around the ears so they don’t slip or slide off.
How Often Should Your Child Wear Sunglasses?
Your child should be wearing their sunglasses any time they’re outdoors for a significant amount of time. This is imperative if they’re engaging in outdoor activities under direct sunlight.
However, for younger children, make sure you have the sunglasses when they’re not being worn. This will prevent them from getting broken, lost, or forgotten.
Start Your Shopping Early
It’s never too early to start shopping for your child’s sunglasses. You can get baby sunglasses for children aged zero to two years old. If you have an older child, engage them in the selection process. This will increase the likelihood of them wearing their sunglasses.