Many parents take a lot of time and put a lot of effort into slathering sunscreen on their children before beach trips, outside ball games, and even playing outside, but a much fewer number of parents enforce the wearing of sunglasses for their children. In fact, a survey of 2,000 adults showed that 82% insisted on sunscreen while only 32% insisted on sunglasses. But, the eyes are just as delicate and susceptible to UV rays as the skin.
Skin issues from extended, unprotected sun exposure include sunburns, unhealthy skin, and even cancer. Issues that can develop from unprotected sun exposure to the eyes include a higher risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which can cause impaired vision or even blindness. Protecting the eyes along with the skin carries the same weight and importance.
Here are some things to look for when choosing sunglasses for adolescent eyes.
- Look for the Sticker: Most sunglasses will have a sticker on them with something like “UV Protected” on it. There is likely to be another sticker from your country’s Optometric Association Seal of Acceptance on the shades too. Look for sunglasses with this sticker because it means that the lenses block 99 to 100% of damaging UV radiation.
- Make Sure They’re Dark: The lenses on your child’s sunglasses should block 75 to 90% of light. To block that much light, they are going to be dark sunglasses. Have your child try them on, and if you can see his or her little eyes looking at you, then the glasses aren’t doing their job. Go dark. Also, make sure they are gray in color rather than brown or some fun color. The gray will absorb colors equally, which means your child will see the world in natural colors.
- Are They Big Enough: When choosing the right frames, it is important to know how they are fitting your child’s head. It is best if they wrap a little on the sides to block peripheral light from getting into your child’s eyes. Just make sure they are not too big and allow a lot of excess light in around the edges.