Well, the summer is officially underway! And thank goodness Mother Nature has been cooperating by providing us with some exceptional weather to enjoy! It’s a great treat for kids who get to enjoy their break away from school! If you’re like many parents, you probably try to remember to lotion your kids up with sunscreen before sending them out to play, right!? But do you also make sure your children have sunglasses on as well? Although many parents are concerned about preventing sunburn to the skin caused by UV exposure, many parents overlook protecting their child’s eyes from those same damaging UV rays. Our blog article this week explains the value of kids sunglasses. So, here are 5 reasons why children should wear sunglasses.
Sunglasses are so important for everyone to wear. But, they are especially important for children to wear! Here are 5 important reasons why children should wear sunglasses!
Our doctors at the Glenmore Landing Vision Center think that protection against UV light is so important for children, that we give out a free pair of children’s UV blocking sunglasses after a child visits us for their eye exam!
1.) Children should wear sunglasses because their eyes Are more susceptible to UV damage!
Children’s eyes are more susceptible to UV damage. This is because the crystalline lens within the eye of a child is virtually clear. This allows more light and UV radiation to reach the back of the eye. A pupil of a child is also larger than that of an adult. This also allows more light into the eyes. So, because A child’s eye allows more harmful UV light into the eyes compared to that of an adult’s eyes, children should wear sunglasses whenever they are outside!
The crystaline lens within the eye of a child allows 70% more UV rays to reach the back of the eye, compared to that of an adult eye. This puts a child’s eye at greater risk for UV damage.
2.) Children should wear sunglasses because they spend more time outside!
If your children are like mine, they always want to be outside! Did you know that half of our lifetime sun exposure occurs in the first 20 years of our lives! This is because children are outdoors much more often than adults. This is another important reason why children should always wear sunglasses!
3.) UV Damage is Cumulative!
Unlike sunburned skin, which usually appears a few hours after UV/sun exposure, UV damage to the eyes usually doesn’t cause problems until our later years of life! Damage to the eyes from UV is usually long-term and cumulative. Cataracts, pinguecula, pterygium, macular degeneration, and some eye cancers can occur as a result of cumulative UV exposure.
Protecting eyes from UV at an early age can help prevent some UV related eye problems later in life.
4.) Sunglasses keep children’s eyes comfortable and safe!
As mentioned above, a child’s eye allows in more UV and visual light compared to the eye of an adult. Because of this, children are usually more light sensitive as well! Because squinting is never fun, make sure your child’s eyes are comfortable by having them wear sunglasses! Sunglasses not only protect their eyes from harmful UV light, but they also protect the eyes from flying objects and debris as well!
5.) Wearing sunglasses at an early age helps teach healthy eye habits!
It is our responsibility as parents to look out for our children’s health and well being. This is why we try to teach our children habits at a young age that keeps them healthy and safe! “Wash Your Hands!”, “Look both ways before crossing the street!”, and “Make sure you floss and brush your teeth” are just a few things that children often hear over and over again. Repetition helps get them on track for adulthood! Wearing sunglasses is a repetitive task which will also help aid in the long-term health of your child’s eyes!
“Make sure you wear your sunglasses!” should also be a phrase that they hear often! Getting your child in the habit of wearing sunglasses will help promote healthy eyes in the long run!
If you live in the Calgary area and need an eye exam or sunglasses for your child, get in touch with our office! Our knowledgeable and experienced eye care practitioners would love to help keep your child’s eyes safe and healthy! You can call our office at (403)255-2826 to book an appointment or conveniently book online!
Article was written by Trina Vanaalst, Licensed Optician and Contact Lens Practitioner