Why are children’s sunglasses so important?

Do your children wear sunglasses? Children are more at risk of UV damage than adults, so it’s important to protect their eyes with sunglasses. This is because they have bigger pupils and clearer natural lenses, which means that around 70% more UV light can penetrate their eyes and reach the retina at the back compared to adults, making their eyes more susceptible to UV damage.

Let’s take a look at some of the consequences of excessive UV damage to children’s eyes.

UV rays and the harm they can cause

As a parent, you’re no doubt careful about making sure your child’s skin is protected from harmful UV rays by applying sun tan lotion. What about their eyes, though? Years of research has shown that UV damage to the eyes can cause many problems, including:

  • sunburn of the eye, also known as photokeratitis
  • cataracts — the effects of UV damage begin accumulating in childhood and can increase the risk of cataracts later on in life
  • macular degeneration — greater exposure to UV rays throughout the years can increase the risk of this sight threatening disease developing in those over 50 years old
  • cancer of the eyelids or the delicate skin around the eye
  • surfer’s eye, or pterygium, which is a growth on the surface of the eye that can be very uncomfortable and may require surgery to remove it.

Encouraging your kids to wear sunglasses can reduce the risks of all of the above, but how can you persuade your kids to keep their sunglasses on?

How to get children to wear sunglasses

Explaining to your child why sunglasses are so important is a good place to start, and so is leading by example. Do you always wear sunglasses when you go out into the sunshine? If not, it’s definitely time to start!

It’s also worth knowing that children with blue eyes are at greater risk of UV damage than those with brown eyes. Just wearing a hat won’t suffice either. Light reflects off all sorts of surfaces, including sand, the pavement and water. So while a hat can block sunlight from above, it can’t protect against sunlight reflecting off surfaces from the ground up.

If your child already wears prescription glasses, then it’s a good idea to get them a pair of kid’s prescription sunglasses. The best children’s sunglasses will have 100% UV protection and lenses that also block high-energy visible rays, known as blue light.

Book an appointment

At our opticians in Potters Bar, Temple Fortune and Finchley, we have a wide range of children’s designer sunglasses and can also make up kid’s prescription sunglasses. Our friendly staff will be able to help you with choosing the best type of lenses and frames that fit young faces well and will be as resistant as possible to wear and tear.

We’re working on an appointment-only basis at the moment for your safety and ours, so please request an appointment to come in and see our selection of the best children’s sunglasses.