Should kids wear sunglasses? Are sunglasses really that important for kids? These are questions we hear all the time and the answer is, yes! It’s so important for kids, especially kids under the age of 10 years old, to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes. We’re sure you’re asking, but why right? Below we highlight the top three reasons why kids should wear sunglasses.
The first and arguably the most important reason why kids should wear sunglasses is that kids under the age of 10 years old are at higher risk of eye damage from UV rays. The lens of a child under the age of 10's eye is clear, allowing high solar penetration and increased chances of UV rays-induced ocular changes. UV rays damage builds over time, so the earlier kids wear sunglasses the lower the risk of developing future eye problems.
The second reason kids should wear sunglasses is that Exposure to UVA and UVB rays increase the risk of age-related eye problems, including cataracts and macular degeneration. Researchers say the more exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays during a lifetime, the more at risk you may be. Kids spend more time outdoors than most adults and some experts say nearly 50 percent of a persons lifetime exposure to UV rays can occur before the age of 18.
And lastly, when we think of UV exposure and it’s harms we usually only think of the warmer months of Spring and Summer. However, the truth is, reflective UV light exposure, can be just as damaging on kids eyes as direct UV rays exposure. Reflective UV light is the light that is reflected and bounces off a surface. Think of how bright the light is on a blue sky day after the snow has fallen, the reflective UV light is the UV rays that hit the snow and bounce into our eyes. Surprisingly water reflects up to 100% of reflected UV light and snow reflects up to 85% of reflective UV light. Sunglasses that offer UVA and UVB protection are the best sunglasses for sun damage and the best way to filter harmful rays from a child's eyes in any condition.
We know what you’re thinking, that’s great but how do I keep the sunglasses on my child? Experts (and our community of awesome moms and dads) agree the best way to engage minis in wearing sunglasses is to let them pick out a pair they like. This may mean they are more inclined to not only wear but also love them.
According to The Vision Council, only 5 percent of American kids always wear sunglasses, let’s protect minis against sun damaged eyes!