Monday, June 12, 2017

Why Sunglasses Are Just as Important as Sunblock and Seatbelts for Your Child's Health

Many of us consider sunglasses a fashion choice but they are actually an important necessity year round, especially in the summer, for adults, babies and children.  

In fact, skin cancer experts will tell parents that wearing sunglasses should be a lifelong habit we should instill in our children from 6 months on,  just as important as wearing sunscreen and brushing your teeth. Why?  Children under the age of 10 are at a high risk for skin and eye damage from ultraviolet rays (UVR) since the skin on their eyelids and around their eyes is more delicate.  Additionally, more solar rays will penetrate a young child's eyes (this changes after age 10 when the lens of the eye becomes more opaque).
According to " 90 percent of skin cancer is caused by UVR exposure.  In addition, retinal exposure to UVR is associated with cataracts and macular degeneration, both causes of vision impairment.  UVR damage builds over time, so the sooner you start protecting your children's eyes from the sun, the lower their risk will be of ever developing future eye problems."   How soon?   6 months on!

Baby and Children's sunglasses, however, are not all created equal. When buying sunglasses for your munchkins it is important to make sure you buy good quality sunglasses.   

How do you know if your child's sunglasses are protecting your their eyes?

  • Find glasses that specify they block 99-100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays
  • Consider wrap around glasses or larger glasses that cover a larger area of your child's face 
  • Look for impact resistant lenses that won't break or pop out easily. Your kids will be playing, running and jumping with them, so they have to be resistant and stay on
  • Let them choose. Kids are likelier to wear something they chose and love
  • Dont forget other sun protective measures like hats and sunblock, including for the area around the eyes  
  • Try to avoid plastic sunglasses.  If you don't want to spend the money on non-plastic shades (rubber or another material) then make sure your shades are BPA and Phthalate free

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