Wearing sunglasses that protect your eyes from harmful UV rays is as important as wearing sunscreen; and this habit should start as early as infancy. 80% of the UV rays absorbed during a lifetime are absorbed before the age 18. Harmful UV rays can contribute to the development of age-related cataracts, pterygium, photo dermatitis and cancer around the eye as well as age related macular degeneration.
Sand, snow, concrete and water reflect sunlight, intensifying exposure. Parents should advise and reinforce the importance of sun protection by teaching children to always take protective measures while outdoors. Children should wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, stay in shaded areas and minimize exposure between 10am and 4pm.
If your child wears prescription eyeglass all day they are most likely wearing a polycarbonate or Trivex® material which protects their eyes from harmful UV rays, but if your child does not need corrective lenses, they should still wear protective sunglasses while outdoors. It is recommended that all children, including infants, wear protective sunglasses while outdoors. Sunglasses that block 99%-100% of UV rays. Be wary of non-specific labels like ‘blocks harmful UV’ vs. ‘blocks 99%-100% of UV’. Not all lenses will block the recommended amount of UV. Children should also always wear polycarbonate or Trivex® lens material as it is impact resistant.