I think the majority of people know, that cumulative exposure to the suns rays (ultraviolet light “UV” in particular) is harmful to our body! This is why in the summer, we slather on the sunscreen and wear our sunglasses. When out at a park on a nice summers day, I also see parents lathering their children in sunscreen. However, I do not always see children wearing sunglasses. Some people may think that children don’t really need to wear sunglasses. But wearing sunglasses when we are younger is especially important for eye health! Here are the reasons as to why children should also wear sunglasses for children.
Why Ultraviolet Radiation is Bad
In order to understand ultraviolet radiation (UV) and to know why wearing sunglasses is “good”, we have to understand why UV exposure to the eyes is “bad”. Exposure to UV rays from the sun, causes damage to the delicate tissues of the eye. Damage from UV increases the chances of eye problems, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, as well as certain eye cancers. Although these problems are often age related, and don’t usually manifest until our later years, it is important to still wear sunglasses in our youth. Research has shown that damage from UV rays is cumulative, and the more exposure to UV over the course of your life, the more at risk you are to develop a sight threatening eye condition.
Why Sunglasses For Children Are Important:
Children’s Eyes Are More Susceptible to UV damage
I think that it is not well known that children are more susceptible to eye damage from UV rays. This is because the lens within the eye of a child (crystalline lens) is clearer then that of an adults. Because of this, the lens is less able to block UV rays from reaching the back of a child’s eye. UV radiation can then penetrate deep into the eye, causing damage to the retina (light-sensitive area in the back of the eye). Damage may not be seen immediately, but can cumulate over time and show up in the later years of life.
Children and UV Exposure
Children are also more susceptible to eye damage because of an increased exposure to UV rays. It is estimated that for some people, almost half of our exposure to UV radiation has occurred by 18 years of age. This is because children tend to spend more time outside then adults.
Because of the reasons above, it is important for kids of all ages, even babies and infants to wear sunglasses. Sunglasses for children should be put on a child whenever they are outside. This should happen, even if the sky is cloudy and overcast. UV rays are invisible, and although it might not be really bright outside, UV radiation penetrates through cloud cover and still can cause damage to the body.
Picking Sunglasses For Children
Picking a good quality pair of sunglasses for children is important. One of the best places to buy sunglasses is in an optometry office or optical store. Trained opticians and dispensers are experts in sunglasses and can help you and your child pick the perfect pair of sunglasses.
Article written by: Trina Vanaalst