Parents today spend a lot of time protecting their kids from the sun. From slathering on sunscreen to purchasing hats and long-sleeved rash guards to put on children while they’re playing outside or in the swimming pool, keeping young skin safe from damaging UV rays has become more important than ever before. While many of our parents didn’t realize how dangerous the sun could be when we were tiny, parents today are better educated than ever before in regards to sun safety.
What about kids’ eyes, however? Although they know that taking care of their children’s skin is hugely important, many parents don’t realize the damage that daily sun exposure can do to the eyes of their little ones. In fact, sun exposure can, over time, lead to cataracts and macular degeneration as a person ages. This is why it’s never too early in life to start wearing good eye protection.
Because a proper pair of child-sized sunglasses are more than a mini fashion statement, it’s important to purchase the right ones for your tot. Check out our top tips for sunglasses shopping for kids before purchasing a pair.
1. Block Those Rays
It’s not really the sun itself that causes eye damage over time, but the ultraviolet rays (UVR) that it emits. Those include both UVB and UVA rays, so you need to be sure that your child’s sunglasses block 99% to 100% of both of them. In addition to ultra-UVR-protective lenses, make sure that the sunglass style is a large one that wraps around your child’s face, providing protection around their eyes, as well.
2. Make Sure They’re Tough
Again, your child’s sunglasses are not meant to be a fashion statement. Sure, you can find a pair that look nice, but keep in mind the demographic that will be wearing them and find a pair that can keep up with the under-12 crowd. Kid sunglasses need to be impervious to being dropped from playground equipment, being sat upon, having drinks and ice cream spilled on them, as well as being bent, played with, and subjected to infinite amounts of abuse and torture.
3. Have a Peep
While they may be too small for you to try them on yourself, take a look through the lenses to make sure they’re of excellent quality and free of defects. Particularly if your child is very small, they may not be able to tell you if the glasses impair their vision in any way, so check and make sure that the view isn’t blurry or otherwise flawed.
4. Still Use Your Arsenal
Just because your child has sunglasses doesn’t mean that you relax all of your other sun damage-prevention strategies. Slather their faces with sunscreen, make them wear a hat and protective clothing, and keep them in the shade during the hours when the sun is most harsh (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
5. Shop Online
For the best selection of kids’ sunglasses, check out quality eyewear sites like Vision Direct. This beats dragging your kids from store to store to find the perfect pair. Have them peruse the choices with you, as they’ll be more likely to wear something they’ve helped pick out themselves.