What’s big and bright… deep in the heart of Texas? The sun. The giant ball of gas, burning billions of miles away. Houston is in a subtropical zone, and almost everyone around these parts wears sunglasses.
Except the kids.
If you’re like me, you’ll slather on the sunblock to protect your kid’s skin from harsh UV rays, but honestly, I never thought about their eyes. You know, one of the most sensitive parts of the body?
The Vision Council
is a trade organization that educates about eye protection, and they’re working with bloggers to get the word out about protecting our kids eyes from harmful UV rays. Dr. Adamopoulos, OD, spoke with us to inform and educate
in an official way.
And now I’m telling you about it! With exclamation points and bold text! Kinda unofficial, but we’re among friends, right?
Should kids wear sunglasses?
I think so, absolutely! Kids can get UV eye damage from the sun, and because their lenses inside the eye are not fully developed, the sun can be worse for their eyes than an adults.
What are some effects of sun eye damage?
- Cataracts, which are caused by accumulated UV damage.
- Macular degeneration, an irreversible disease that is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S.
- Skin cancer, because eyelids are vulnerable and thin, and you can’t put sunblock on them.
- Sunburn, which causes burning and stinging after being outdoors. Yes! You can sunburn your EYEBALLS.
Great. One more thing to worry about, you know? (Well, um, actually FOUR more things. Can I count? Why yes, yes I can. Sometimes.)
Sun damage is cumulative, so the more kids squint in harsh daylight the more damage could be building up. Unfortunately, because sunlight travels in waves, just wearing a hat won’t help. The rays bounce around and reflect off surfaces- in fact, snow blindness is caused by UV rays reflecting off the ice and snow.
What to look for in sunglasses for kids
- Comfort. If they are uncomfortable, kids won’t wear them. Face it, you wouldn’t wear them either if they constantly slipped down or pinched above your ears.
- Quality. Buy from a reputable store, and look for the little sticker that promises UV protection. Don’t buy from a street kiosk.
- Try them on. Don’t buy online. Take the kids with you and let them try on the glasses. This goes the first point- comfort first. If glasses are too small or too big, they won’t be worn.
- Lifestyle. If your kids are in sports, consider getting impact resistant lenses for safety.
Um, yeah. OK, so children SHOULD wear sunglasses. The question I wanted to know is HOW to get them to wear them. Honestly, I’ve only ever bought sunglasses for the kids as a fashion accessory because let’s face it, babies wearing Mom’s glasses are cute.
How to Get Kids to Wear Sunglasses
Start young, and set the example. Just like bike helmets and sunblock, make wearing sunglasses a habit. This is also important because someday, your kid is going to be behind a steering wheel heading west, squinting into the setting sun.
Did you just faint? Sorry. But it’s true. It’s best if they have the sunglass habit before that ever happens, so your kids will be safer when they drive. Bonus- sunglasses are easy to use. No worries about weird chemicals or making sure you find natural sunblock. No prep. You just grab and go!
So. Sunglasses for kids. Get them. Wear them. And have some happy eyes.
Blogging with integrity: This post was sponsored by The Motherhood and The Vision Council, and I received compensation for learning about how to protect kids eyes from UV rays and for posting. Also, obviously I should be more diligent about wearing my own sunglasses because I have squinty lines between my eyes in that picture! (And I’ll stop talking now because you just scrolled up to go look!)