Sunglass safety for kids

Keep kids safe from the summer sun with plenty of sunscreen. What about their eyes? Have you ever considered how important it is to keeping kids eyes protected from the sun? Read more to learn how to you can protect your child’s eyes from the sun.

Summer is here and that means so are picnics, days at the beach and fun in the sun! It’s well known how important it is to keep kids safe from the summer sun with plenty of sunscreen. That will help keep their skin safe and protected from getting a sunburn, but what about their eyes? Have you ever considered how important it is to keeping kids eyes protected from the sun?

According to a brochure, Protecting Your Child’s Eyes From the Sun: What Every Mom Should Know, published by Real Kid Shades, parents should think about sunglasses in the same way they think about bicycle helmets. You shouldn’t let your child play outside without them! Furthermore, they also state that while the harmful effects of the sun are three times greater in the summer than winter, there is still risk in not wearing sunglasses, even on overcast and cloudy days.

In addition, the Skin Cancer Foundation has the following rules to keep in mind when purchasing sunglasses for children:

  • Find glasses that block 99-100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. Buy ones that indicate the percentage of UVR protection they provide. The more skin covered, the better, so look for large, wrap around styles.
  • Use playground-proof lenses. Kids play hard and their sunglasses should match their active lifestyle. Look for impact-resistant, scratch-proof lenses that won’t pop out of the frames. Avoid glass, rather look for plastic lenses.
  • Let them choose. Kids and teens are more likely to actually wear the glasses they choose. Go ahead and let them select their own.
  • Eyeball the glasses. Check to be sure they lenses aren’t scratched, warped or flawed. Any imperfections could distort vision.
  • Double up. Sunglasses block only rays that come directly through the lenses. The skin around the eye remains vulnerable to the rays entering through the sides or top, or reflected upward off of snow, sand, water, etc. Wear a wide-brimmed hat for additional protection and consider shielding the face and neck.

For additional information about keeping kids safe from the sun see the following articles by Michigan State University Extension:

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