Being a little kid means a lot of things. It’s being a bundle of energy just bursting to run off into the next adventure and discover the world. For us moms, that can be terrifying so we do everything we can to ensure their health and safety while our beloved little devils face the world day by day. Yet there is one thing that is extremely important, and yet, practically none of us think about.
Super cute (…and such a DIVA!) right? But as it turns out, sunglasses are so much more than just a cute accessory. They can help save your child’s vision in the long run. In a recent survey of 10,000 U.S. adults, 73 percent of parents wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from ultraviolet radiation, while only 58 percent have their children wear sunglasses. WOW! As a mom, I was shocked because I like to think I always put my child first, but as it turns out… I am one of the many that just didn’t think about it. It is absolutely necessary, and here is one of the many reasons why.
Children receive three times the annual sun exposure of adults and research shows that their young eyes are especially susceptible to UV-related harm. Unlike the mature lens of an adult eye, a child’s lens cannot filter out UV rays and so more radiation reaches the retina. Decades of sun exposure make older eyes much more prone to visual problems and disease from the cumulative damage of UV radiation. Decreased concentrations of protective molecules in the eye, also related to age, may be implicated, too.
That is just one small bit of info I learned this week when I was able to participate in a conference call with The Vision Council. During the call, we were able to ask some questions, ranging from sunglasses for infants (not just for oooooing and ahhhhing) to costs (since you know they will break or be lost every.other.day. Oh, is that only my kid?).
Here are some key things I learned during this eye opening call with The Vision Council:
- Since UV exposure is cumulative, it’s never too early or too late to start protecting eyes. Young eyes are especially vulnerable to UV rays, so start protecting your children’s eyes as early as possible to ward off the effects of UV on eyes later in life. Starting this safety measure early on may also help it become habit as they grow into young adults and into adulthood.
- Make sure the sunglasses fit your children comfortably. Sunglasses that pinch or are scratched are less likely to be worn.
- Set a prime example by always wearing your own shades. It will seem like a more natural habit if they see you in your own sunglasses.
- Depending on your children’s ages, style might also play a role. Have them pick out a pair they like and they may be more prone to wear them.
- For sunglasses, quality doesn’t necessarily translate to high cost. Several reputable retailers offer protective shades at an affordable price. If your children are particularly prone to losing items, consider buying shades with a plastic frame, which can be less expensive than metal frames.
- High price does not always mean high quality. In quality sunglasses, UV protection is a MUST— be sure to find a pair with a sticker or tag stating that the sunwear blocks UV rays (both UVA and UVB).
- In addition to UV protection, make sure to look at the lens of a potential purchase. Some inexpensive glasses can have lens distortion which can cause irritation and headaches. They may also shatter more easily, which can be hazardous for active children.
- Hats, especially wide brimmed ones, can help block UV radiation, but they should never be used in place of sunglasses.
- Sunglasses should always be worn outside – no matter your location, season, or time of day.
So there you have it. Sunglasses aren’t just some cute accessory for our children. Nope, they could be the one thing that preserves their eyesight for their entire lives.
To learn more about protecting you children’s vision health, check out The Vision Council. Make sure you also check out The Bureau of Missing Sunglasses which is a campaign by The Vision Council to increase awareness of UV-related eye damage and the importance of wearing sunglasses. If you are looking for the latest trends in eyewear for every age, lifestyle for all, make sure you stop by Eyecessorize. Go on, and diva your kids up… their eyes will thank you for it.
Disclosure: This is part of a compensated campaign with The Vision Council and The Motherhood. However, all thoughts, opinions and divaness are my own… or my little diva’s. And yes.. I miss my Vera Wang shades.