Should my Child wear Sunglasses?

As soon as the sun comes out, we all know we should apply the sun cream to protect ourselves and our children against ultraviolet rays. These can burn the skin, causing premature ageing and cancer. But what people don’t realise is that UV rays can also cause serious and potentially irreversible damage to our eyes. In fact, eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV sunglasseslight than the skin, according to the Eye care Trust.

On sunny days a lot of adults wear sunglasses while outside or driving. However, how often do you see children wearing sunglasses? It is rare isn’t it? this should not be the case. Children need to protect their eyes just as much as adults, if not more. Younger eyes  have bigger pupils and clearer lenses, allowing up to 70 per cent UV light to reach the retina than an adult’s eye does. New research has shown  that by the age of 18 years old, children would have absorbed 80 per cent of their lifetime exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. This means that it is never to early for a child to wear sunglasses but opticians say that children should be wearing sunglasses by the age of three.

What Type Of Sunglasses Should My Child Be Wearing?

  • Buy sunglasses that blocks 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays and that carry the European Standard “CE” mark and the British Standard BSEN 1836:1997
  • The wrap around frame design glasses will offer more protection to the whole eye
  • Find impact-resistant, scratch-proof lenses that do not pop out of the frames. The frames should bend but unbreakable.
  • How light or dark the lenses should be is a personal preference, as the UV and UVB protection comes from the chemical applied to the lenses not their colour. Lighter lenses don’t offer much comfort in bright sun and very dark ones will prompt your child’s pupils to expand to let in more light. A medium tint would be the best option.

Tips To Help Making Wearing Sunglasses A Habit For Your Children.

  • Model good sunglass-wearing habits with your own glasses
  • When you have found the sunglasses that meet the specifications let your child pick out the design of sunglasses that they like. They will be more likely to wear them if they like the frames
  • Adults keep the glasses when the child isn’t wearing them, so they can easily be found when needed. This prevents them from getting lost, broken or forgotten.
  • If your child is against wearing glasses, don’t push it. A visor or a with a large brim may be a more workable choice until they are ready to try the glasses.
  • Make sure the glasses fit snugly and close to the face but are comfortable

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