Every year I try to keep my kids (currently ages 2.5- and 5.5-years-old) safe in the sun. That includes worrying about their skin and ensuring they’re hydrated, but the safety of their eyes is also at the forefront of my mind, particularly during this hot, sunny summer. My children love playing outside and my youngest one is a huge fan of the water. He (or SHE?) would probably take up residence in our wading pool if it was an option. This puts my mom self on red alert because highly reflective surfaces like water amplify the sun’s effects, as I’m sure many of us have experienced (hello, bad sun burns!). My optician self immediately thinks of these effects in relation to the eyes.
Youngsters have the most risk for sun-related eye damage. When we are born, our lens is clear. As we age, it hardens, which reduces the amount of UV radiation that passes through our eye. By the time we’re 20 our risks are drastically reduced. Unfortunately, it’s really easy to forget how badly our children need to protect their eyes. Studies suggest that this childhood exposure can cause early onset cataracts. This just illustrates the need for getting your kids to wear protective eyewear early and frequently for their health.
UVA and AVB protection are essential in sunwear, for both kids and adults. While I know it’s tempting to skimp and buy cheap eyewear for little ones since they’re not the gentlest with delicate items, the result is an inferior product. Cheap sunglasses cut corners in quality by using sheets of plastic and punching out lens shapes before bending and heating the material to fit a poorly constructed frame. This ensures the cheap toddler or baby sunglasses will feature uncomfortable frames and subpar optical quality, which can cause visual disturbances or headaches because the light entering the lenses is being warped and displaced. Here’s some additional information on refraction and sight and if you’d like to learn more about it.
Kids aren’t always able to articulate the problems with their eyewear and may not even notice, which is why opting for quality sunglasses for toddlers and babies is the way to go. Plus, I love how cool my littles look in their Ray Ban sunnies and I rest easy knowing they’ve got superior visual protection while they’re outside. I admit, the one area I do struggle with is convincing them to wear their children’s sunglasses but thankfully going for really sharp looking frames that are colorful and attractive to kids has proven to be a good strategy. Plus, the compliments they constantly receive on their eyewear are a bit of positive reinforcement.
When my kids were under two-years-old, we used Baby Banz with a strap and believe me that strap came in handy. The great features of these sunglasses for babies are the soft nose pads and brow guard. It makes the frames way more comfortable, which seemed to help my kids keep them on longer. I also made a point of talking to my kids about sun protection and telling them why the sunglasses are good for them. Both of my children responded well to this approach.
If you’re interested in sunglasses for kids, I’d love to invite you to browse our collection at The Spectacle Shoppe. The high-quality shades from trusted brands aren’t just adorable, they’re also comfortable and they work! Is there a model or colour you don’t see? Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be sure to let you know if we have what you’re looking for in stock or how long it will take for me to order them. If you have any eyewear-related concerns, feel free to contact us or stop by our Vancouver optical store.