IS MY CHILD READY FOR SUNGLASSES?
We all love sunshine, but the UV rays that the sun puts out aren’t good for our eyes. As adults, we put on sunglasses and enjoy the outdoors. But, how often do you see kids wearing sunglasses? Children spend much more time outdoors than many adults and it’s important for them to have sunglasses that block 100 percent of the UV rays.
Young children and toddlers will mimic what they see their parents and older siblings doing. If they express interest in wearing sunglasses, allowing them to pick something they like may result in the likelihood of them wearing the sunglasses. For infants and very young toddlers, a visor or hat may be a better choice.
Children’s eyes are more susceptible to UV and HEV radiation than adult eyes because the lens inside a child’s eye is less capable of filtering these high-energy rays. This is especially true for young children. Begin wearing protective sunglasses outdoors as early in life as possible.
Think about looking out into the ocean or on a lake. If you’re on a boat you tend to burn easier because the sun reflects off the water. The same applies to ski slopes. These reflective environments cause an increase in the UV rays. Protective sun wear is important for the entire family.
When choosing sunglasses, buy a pair with a label saying it blocks 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. Labels that say the glasses meet ANSI (American National Standards Institute) requirements or block UV absorption up to 400 nm (nanometers) mean you’re getting this protection, too.
Sunglasses for children come in rubber frames for rugged use. Tinted goggles help protect eyes from snow glare. Choose polycarbonate for your child’s sunglass lenses, because it’s very shatter-resistant.
As children age, they may begin to follow trends in sunglasses that mimic styles of adult sunglasses and are rich in colors. Clip-on sunglasses are available for prescription eyeglasses and some types of clip-ons are designed to magnetically attach to the glasses. Brand names such as Disney are also popular.
Sunglasses are important for the entire family. For questions regarding sunglass fitting for your child, give our office a call.
About the author: John D. Bissell, owner of Bissell Eye Care and Tri-State Low Vision Services, offers comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family, ocular disease detection and treatment, eye glasses, sun glasses, active wear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. He has undergone specialized training for treatment of low vision by the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists utilizing customized telescopic eyeglasses, prisms and telescopic implants for patients who qualify. The practice accepts most types of vision and health insurance plans.