Everyone knows UV light is harmful for the skin and eyes. This is why it’s so important for parents to make sure their kids wear sunscreen and sunglasses on sunny days. However, sunscreen and sunglasses aren't the only way to protect your little one. Below are 5 tips for protecting your kids’ eyes:
1 ) Wear a hat on sunny days.
Wearing a hat is not a complete replacement for sunglasses, but it does block substantial amounts of overhead sunlight which protects your child’s face and eyes. If you kid won't wear sunglasses, try a hat!
2 ) Protect your eyes at critical times of day.
As surprising as it sounds, the most important time of day to protect your skin from UV exposure is different from the most important time of day to protect your eyes from UV exposure. For skin, UV light exposure peaks when the sun is directly above you in the sky (around noon or early afternoon). This is mostly due to the lack of shade at that time. However, for the eyes, peak UV light exposure occurs as the sun rises and sets because the light rays are angled directly at the eyes. Therefore, although sunglasses should always be worn outside, mid-morning and late-afternoon are the most important times.
3 ) Protect your eyes around reflective surfaces.
Reflected UV light can be just as damaging to the eye as direct UV light. Water reflects almost 100% of UV light. Snow reflects 85% of UV light. Concrete reflects about 25% of UV light. Grass only reflects about 3% of UV light. For that reason, your child’s eyes are more at risk they are near water and snow, but even concrete streets to some extent. The best way to protect young, developing eyes from reflected UV light is through polarized lenses. Polarized lenses are designed specifically to block reflected light rays from the ground. Polarized lenses also reduce glare, which may make your child more comfortable while wearing them. .
4 ) Understand the importance of protecting children’s eyes.
Sometimes it is hard to make decisions about something when you don’t know what is at stake. For example, people oftentimes don’t change their diet until they are educated on exactly how a poor diet could negatively affect their life. Likewise, when parents understand how sunlight damages eyes, they are more motivated to help protect their little one’s eyes. The World Health Organization estimates that between 60-80% of lifetime UV light exposure occurs before the age of 18! Additionally the critical developmental period for eyes occurs before the age of 10. UV light can cause early cataracts, lead to eye growths, damage the retina, and cause premature aging of the eye. It’s crucial that parents protect their kids’ eyes during their childhood.
5 ) Get a pair of sunglasses your child enjoys wearing.
Parents know they can ask their kid to do anything…but it won’t happen unless the child is actually motivated. One big reason kids do not wear sunglasses is because they don’t like them! Most kid sunglasses are simply adult sunglasses made smaller. The best way to protect your kid’s eyes is to get them a pair of sunglasses they actually like because they will be more likely to wear them! This is exactly why we created SunSnap Kids. We hope your child enjoys their Snappies!