There’s nothing cuter than a little one having fun in the sun. My babies all loved the chance to sit in the kiddie pool and splash or sit at the beach and touch the strange-feeling the sand. I’d put on their swim diapers, pull over it a swimsuit containing UV protection, and then lather any remaining exposed parts with some baby-appropriate suntan lotion. I’d put on their hats and then strap on their sunglasses.
It’s that last part that’s important!
Many believe that as long as a baby is wearing a hat, his or her eyes are fine. Others think (falsely) that babies eyes aren’t as affected by the sun as yours or mine. Even worse, some assume that babies aren’t worried about looking “cool” in the sun, so who needs baby shades?
Your baby does – babies should wear sunglasses!
Experts assess that between 60-80% of the sun damage we absorb happens before we turn 18. Babies are especially at risk for damage from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays because their eyes are more sensitive than ours. They react even more strongly to the sun’s powerful rays.
Just like you protect their skin from the sun’s impact, never underestimate how the sun can affect their eyes. Babies can get sunburnt in just fifteen minutes – think about what the sun is doing to their eyes during that same amount of time!
Getting babies to keep sunglasses on probably won’t be an easy task, but there are a few things you can do to prevent serious wear and tear on their shades.
Choose a plastic, virtually unbreakable eyeglass frame designed for babies. That way, if your child decides to fling them off the stroller and onto the pool deck, they won’t be destroyed. That means they’ll also hold up if your baby decides to pull them down to his or her mouth to see if they taste as good as Cheerios.
A good pair of baby sunglasses will have a strap. This strap will go around the baby’s head and is designed so it won’t be a choking hazard if the glasses end up around their neck or caught.
Lastly, avoid cheap sunglasses for your baby. Lenses should be ophthalmic quality meaning you have the quality assurance that the lenses block both UVA and UVB rays. This protection is more valuable than just a tint that can distort your child’s vision.
Talk to your optician at your closest Eyeglass World retailer and the best options for protecting your baby’s eyes and why babies should wear sunglasses!