Take a step back and think about how often you see a child wearing a pair of sunglasses? We’re going to take a guess and say that it’s not too often.
Funnily enough, when kids wear sunglasses a lot of people tend to see it as a bit of a novelty, when in reality, it should be anything but.
Children need eye protection just as much, if not more, than adults.
Today, we’re going to tell you why kids need sunglasses, give you tips on how you make sure they wear them, and provide some info about the brands that offer sensational sunglasses options for kids.
Do kids need sunglasses?
This is a big, fat YES!
Vision problems can affect people of all ages and can start developing at any point – even in childhood.
In fact, a child’s eye transmits more UV rays than an adult’s eye. If you know anything about why we use sunglasses, you know that it is to protect our eyes (and the skin around them) from UV rays as these are known to cause cell damage and major eye issues.
As children’s eyes, eyelids, and the skin around their eyes are way more sensitive than an adult’s they really need to be wearing sunglasses.
More reasons why your child should be wearing sunglasses
So, besides the very obvious UV rays potentially causing vision problems for your child’s eyes, why else should a kid wear a pair of sunglasses? Here are some reasons you might not have thought of.
- The first reason is that kids spend a lot of time outdoors. They tend to spend significantly more time than adults do. Kids love playing outside, and even at kinder, preschool or school, they spend time outdoors during recess and lunch.
- Kids also then to spend a lot more time looking up than adults. This is because they are usually with an adult or parent. And while you may not realise it, this can increase their risk of exposure to UV rays.
- The last reason we’re going to list today is that the ozone layer, which helps to filter some UV rays, has been depleting for a long time now, and kids these days have less protection from the ozone layer than we did when we were kids.
Now, let’s talk about some of the problems that UV ray exposure can cause.
Common eye problems caused by sunlight
It’s important to note at this point that if your child has spent time outdoors without sunglasses, it isn’t the end of the world. Some of the conditions we’re talking about do tend to take prolonged and repeated exposure to UV rays to develop. However, it is important that you are aware of them to ensure you know what you’re up against if you leave your child’s eye unprotected.
These conditions include:
This is a condition where the lens of the eye becomes clouded and disrupts the vision. They are most commonly caused by changes to the eye tissue structure that occurs through aging or injury. Though, substantial UV exposure can increase the chances of developing cataracts when your child gets older.
This condition is essentially sunburn of the eyes – most specifically, the cornea. The sunburn or inflammation comes from the UV exposure. It is a painful and temporary condition.
As you’ll likely be aware, UV rays can cause major damage to the skin, from minor sunburns to skin cancer. While sunscreen will go a long way in protecting your skin from these issues, a lot of people don’t use sunscreen on the skin around the eyes, partially because when it gets in the eyes, it can be quite painful. So, this extra sensitive area of skin is left exposed, and as it is so much more delicate than most of the other skin of the body, it can be easily burnt.
Skin cancer usually develops after repeated exposure to UV rays over a long time period, however, it’s always important to start protecting those eyes early.
At this stage you’re probably thinking that it might be easier to keep your kid inside rather than deal with the risks and issues of UV ray exposure. However, spending time outdoors is actually super important for kids as it can help decrease the chances of developing myopia, which is a condition in which you can see objects that are nearby but struggle to see those that are further away.
So, we want our kids to be spending time outdoors, but we just need to make sure we give them optimum protection.
When should kids start wearing sunglasses?
If you’re wondering at what age your kid should start wearing a pair of sunnies, we say that you should consider getting them a pair sooner rather than later.
Basically, it’s never too early for a kid to wear a pair of sunglasses. Though, it might be tricky to get them to wear them, but we’ve got some tips for you!
How can I get my kid to wear a sunnies?
If you manage to start your child wearing sunglasses from a super early age, it might just become part of their routine and they won’t want to leave home without them. Though, if we’re honest, we all know how defiant and wiggly kids can be.
So, some of the things you can do to encourage them to wear sunnies include:
- Lead by example – kids love to copy the adults around them, so if you’re regularly wearing sunglasses and practicing good sun habits, then they will likely follow suit.
- Listen to their protests and ask questions – if your child is of speaking age and they don’t want to wear their sunglasses, ask them why. It might be because their friends don’t wear them, which you can mitigate by explaining how they help protect you. It might be because they are uncomfortable, and you might need to buy them a new, better fitting pair.
- Let them choose their sunglasses – you can get your child involved in the sunglasses wearing process by letting them choose the sunglasses they like the most. It is a way to empower them and let them know they are making valid choices.
- Be persistent – if we’re completely honest, we don’t know any kids who have happily worn sunnies the first few times they have tried them. They need to get used to the fit and the way they might change their vision. But eventually they get used to them. It just takes a little perseverance, but the benefits are certainly worth it.
What should I look for in a pair of sunnies for kids?
First and foremost, UV protection – it’s the whole point of them wearing the sunnies, right? Only get them a pair that offers 100% UV protection – there is no reason whatsoever to get anything less.
Your child is a child. They don’t know how to take proper care of everything, and they are going to be playing, falling, having fun, and let’s face it, kids are clumsy. You need sunglasses that are going to last the distance.
A great fit
As kids grow fast it’s important to pay attention to their sunglasses and how they are fitting. You don’t really want to spend a fortune on sunglasses for kids because they may outgrow them, however, you want to spend enough to ensure they are going to last them. The fit is also important because it provides protection and makes them more comfortable, which ultimately is going to impact them wearing the sunnies in the first place. So, make sure you buy sunglasses that have been made for kids.
So, now that you know what you need in a pair of sunnies for kids, check out some of the awesome styles we have available here.