The results of the 8th annual American Eye-Q® survey have revealed some pretty surprising statistics about how consumers view sunglasses. The American Optometric Association (AOA) shared in a recent press release that the survey showed “only 40 percent of consumers cite protection of their eyes from sun damage as the primary reason they wear sunglasses.” Only 28 percent reported UV protection as one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing new sunglasses.
Protecting children’s eyes from UV damage is our primary mission here at Real Kids Shades. Needless to say, we were not particularly excited to see that only 21 percent of parents reported that they purchased their child’s first pair of sunglasses prior to his or her first birthday. As Dr. Karl Citek stated,
“The importance of sun protection for children is often overlooked. The lenses of their eyes are more transparent than those of adults, allowing shorter wavelength light to reach the retina. Because the effects of solar radiation are cumulative, it’s important to develop good protection habits early and have infants and children wear proper sunglasses whenever outdoors.”
So how does over-exposure to UV rays damage kids’ eyes? The Skin Cancer Foundation shares that retinal exposure is associated with cataracts and macular degeneration. Those under the age of 10 are at a high risk for damage to not only their eyes, but also the skin on their eyelids and around their eyes because of its high sensitivity. Additionally, EyeSmart shares that growths on the eye like pterygium are often found on the eyes of people in their teens and twenties that spend extended periods of time in mid-day sun, on the water or in the mountains.
In order to protect your kids’ eyes, as well as your own, be sure to follow these guidelines from the AOA and the Skin Cancer Foundation when purchasing new pairs:
- Search for shades that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
- Make sure the lenses are perfectly matched in color and that are free of imperfections.
- Look for durable, shatterproof lenses.
And if you’re looking for new shades for your kids, check out the Real Kids Shades website. We offer sunglasses that are durable, stylish, and offer 100 percent protection from UV rays.