Q: Should I buy my children sunglasses?
A: While most parents today understand the importance of sunscreen to protect their children’s skin from exposure to UV radiation in sunlight, many do not pay attention to the importance of protecting their eyes from the sun.
Experts believe that UV light exposure to children’s eyes, can set them up for dangerous eye problems when they age, including cataracts and macular degeneration, to name a few. By the time that children are 18 they have received 50 percent of the UV exposure that they will get in a lifetime, as a result of their outside playtime.
The simple solution is sunglasses for kids!
While over 80 percent of parents make sure their kids are wearing proper sunblock in the sun, only about 30% of parents have them wearing sunglasses.
Once you decide that you want protection for your child, the question is which sunglasses to get.
Here are a couple of things to look for while choosing a pair of sunglasses:
They should block 99 percent of damaging UV radiation (UVA and UVB). Lenses should be made of Polycarbonate or Trivex materials for the safely of the child as they are far more impact resistant than plastic or glass lenses. Cheap sunglasses often have fraudulent labels on them. Getting a reputable pair of sunglasses insures that the lenses are of the best quality and offer proper protection. For greater comfort, polarized lenses eliminates glare and offer UVA and UVB filters as a part of the material.
Frames should be wide enough to offer the most coverage. Frames that wrap around the face a bit are even better. The fit should ensure that the glasses don’t slide down their nose.
Some kids may need spring hinges to allow for rough handling, and it may be helpful if there is elastic in the back if your child will be wearing them during extended outdoor play or while riding a bicycle.
Dr. Stephen Rozenberg