Do children need sunglasses? Well, the short answer is YES!!
We are all aware of the importance of protecting our kids’ skin from UV for outside play – Slip, Slop, Slap – has become an entrenched habit over recent decades, well supported by school policies which won’t allow kids to play outside without their hats and skin protection. We need to apply that same diligence to protecting our children’s eyes and add Slide on a pair of sunnies.
I have had this message brought home quite clearly when collecting grandkids from school- the children who have photochromic lenses in their prescription glasses which go almost black as they run around the playground are a stark reminder of the amount of UV in our environment even at the end of the day!
As adults we are used to reaching for sunnies when heading outside – we need to start building these behaviours in our littlies whose young eyes are at even greater risk of damage because their clear lenses and larger pupils allow up to 70% more UV radiation to reach the retina than an adult’s eye.
As children also spend more time outdoors much of the damage we see in our adult population had its start decades before, and with the hole in the ozone layer in this part of the world, harmful sunlight and UV exposure is on the increase, putting our kids at greater risk of many degenerative eye conditions associated with age.
Unlike skin, our eyes are most vulnerable to UV in the early morning and late afternoon – the sun is low in the sky – when we are most likely to encourage our kids to be outside! Our UV exposure is also significantly increased around water (our lovely beaches!) and snow; however overcast days can also pose as much of a risk as bright days – what we are dealing with is a daily challenge!
Glare tolerance and risk varies considerably between individuals, and as a generalisation the fair skinned and blue eyed population are at higher risk that those with more pigment in skin or eye colour. So, like Australia’s increased incidence of skin cancers and melanomas which are partly the result of sun exposure in youth, our eyes can be equally impacted.
HoldfastBay Optometry have been very excited to discover the range of Beamer children’s sunglasses. These sunnies have been designed by a couple of Australian ophthalmologist mums to provide maximum protection for children’s eyes. The frames have good wrap to stop unfiltered light reaching the eye, and lenses incorporate polarised technology and coatings which block UVA and UVB from both front and back surfaces. And, needless to say like all sunglasses on the Australian market, they have to meet the standard for eye protection.
Pop in with your special little person to try some on todayJ