In the same way we protect our skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, we need to protect our eyes as well! Even more importantly, we need to protect our child’s eyes. Children’s eyes are still developing at a young age, and with the substantial time they spend outdoors, it is essential to purchase sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays. Kid’s sunglasses are designed to appeal to their style to promote better use!
UV Rays: What are they?
UV rays or ultraviolet radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation or energy. UV rays are emitted from the sun as well as sources like tanning beds. Our inability to see these rays is what makes them so dangerous. Ultraviolet rays fall outside the range of visible light for the human eye.
Harmful UV Ray Exposure
The lens inside a child’s eye is still developing and cannot filter high energy rays similar to adults’ eye lenses. This inability to filter and fully protect their eyes causes children to have a higher risk of UV rays damage. Shielding your infant’s or child’s eyes from UV rays as early as possible will help prevent overexposure to UV radiation throughout their lifetime. For younger children and infants, a sun hat provides additional protection to their skin and eyes throughout the day as the sun shifts, and in case they remove their sunglasses.
Exposure to UV radiation increases at high altitudes, tropical locations, and in reflective environments. Consider the level of risk in your environment and if you should wear protective eyewear. Here are a few environmental aspects and how they could affect your exposure to harmful UV rays.
- Altitude: At higher altitudes, the earth’s atmosphere is thinner and unable to provide the same protection from UV rays.
- Location: As you move closer to the earth’s equator, the level of UV rays increases. If you and your family visit a tropical area near the earth’s equator, always wear 100% UV blocking eyewear when outdoors.
- Highly reflective services: Areas with highly reflective services like pools, lakes, oceans, and snow reflect UV rays. Snow can reflect up to 80% of UV rays creating a higher risk of UV damage to your eyes.
- Clouds: Keep in mind clouds do not block UV radiation. UV exposure can be high on cloudy days.
Time of Day
- Time of day: UV levels are higher between 10 am to 2 pm when the sun is at its peak.
- Setting: Highly reflective surfaces like sand, snow, and water provide a much higher risk of eye damage due to UV radiation.
We understand convincing your child to wear sunglasses can be a challenge. Use these pointers when talking with your kids about sunglasses! Don’t forget, you know your children better than anyone else, so some of these tips may not work for them.
- Match the current trends. If your child loves a specific color, pattern, or shape, purchase sunglasses to match their unique style.
- Make sure the eyewear fits properly. If the fit is wrong, your child may feel discomfort while wearing their glasses. Have your optician make sure that your child is comfortable wearing their glasses and make adjustments if they need to.
- TV shows, young celebrities, and brands like Disney create sunglass lines to appeal specifically to children. That’s right; children notice and prefer brand named items just like teens and adults.
- Keep frame in the family. If the child has an adult or sibling, they look up to and admire, purchase your child similar sunglasses to what the adult or sibling owns. This will appeal to the child’s desire to look more like their older sibling or parent!
- Let them do the shopping. Take children shopping specifically to pick out their very own unique pair of sunglasses. The more they like their sunglasses, the more likely they are to wear them, and the better protected their eyes will be from harmful UV radiation from the sun.