Unfortunately, it can be easier to climb a mountain than to get your baby to wear sunglasses and keep them on. But parents should be weary of how easily kids’ eyes are damaged over time.
As any optometrist will tell you, kids’ eyes are just as sensitive as their skin. Sunburn and skin damage is a common worry among parents, which is why so many make sure their kids are wearing plenty of sunscreen. With all this blocking up, however, we don’t always think about other parts that need protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Parents don’t think about protecting their kids’ eyes in the same way as protecting their skin.
Why is eye protection for kids so easily overlooked? This is because the damage can’t be seen in kids. It’s actually a cumulative process that leads to cataracts, macular degeneration and skin cancers of the eyelids.
Since the myth that carrots are good for your eyes has finally been debunked, eye protection is the single most effective way to prevent eye damage and vision loss and ensure healthy functioning eyes. Parents need to make sure that they are instilling the good habit of wearing sunglasses early on.
For proper protection, young kids need sunglasses that block harmful rays. This means that the sunglasses need to say they are 100 percent UV-blocking. You also want sunglasses that are strong and made of a quality, durable material such as polycarbonate (the same material used for protective goggles) to make sure they can keep up with kids. Cheap sunglasses from toy stores or grocery stores will shatter and break when kids get bumped or fall down. Kids need sunglasses that fit well because they are more cognizant of the way things look and feel than we sometimes give them credit for. If the sunglasses don’t look and feel good, kids will be less likely to wear them.
It’s never too early to invest in eye protection for kids to prevent eye problems later on in their lives. Learn more in our previous post on the importance of eye protection for kids.