The discussion as to whether kids need sunglasses has been an ongoing debate for years. As EZ Contacts explains, a lot about the impact of solar and UV damage on kid’s eyes, as well as the need for sunglasses, is largely misunderstood today. However, more research into the topic has revealed that kids may actually need sunglasses to keep their eyes healthy well into adulthood. Media Xpress mentions that kids’ eyelids and the skin around them are sensitive and need proper protection from harsh UV radiation. Even so, what should a parent look for in choosing the right glasses for their kids? What are the major sticking points that would recommend glasses to a parent who wants to protect their child’s eyes?

The Expert Opinion

Over the years, scientists have pinpointed several problems that could crop up with kids thanks to exposure to UV rays. A few of these problems don’t manifest until later on in their lives, meaning that most damage isn’t immediately apparent. Blue-eyed kids tend to suffer more from UV damage than kids with other eye colors. The most specific disorders that might occur because of UV damage include:

  • Photokeratitis/ “snow blindness”: this condition can cause vision loss for up to 48 hours.
  • Cataracts: As people age, early damage from UV radiation may lead to a more prominent formation.
  • Pterygium/ “surfer’s eye”: Caused by growth over the front of the eye. It can be removed, but the growth may return.
  • Macular degeneration due to aging”: Old age degeneration may be sped up by UV radiation.
  • Cancer: UB radiation may be responsible for increased cancer change as people age.

Things To Look For

The most vital element of a child’s sunglasses is how much UV radiation it will block. Ideally, you’d want the sunglasses to stop between 99% to 100% of all UVA and UVB radiation. Another critical element to remember is that kids need durable hardware. As a result, the glasses should be bendable and flexible. Rigid glasses might be more comfortable but are likely to break without much effort from your child. Many kid-friendly sunglasses offer bendable and “unbreakable” options to cater to kids specifically. Finding them might take a bit more effort on the parent’s part.

Involve Your Child in Choosing Lenses

Wearing sunglasses for a kid means ensuring that they think the design is fashionable. One of the best ways to ensure that they wear their sunglasses is to engage them in choosing the sunglasses themselves. While most parents might not realize it, kids have their own unique sense of style and a particular taste. If anything, the sunglasses will be one of their fondest memories as kids, especially if it lets them bond with their parents. Many of us decide to choose lenses that protect eyes from blue light, but they might not be strictly necessary for kids. However, parents should insist that glasses stay with them instead of with the child. Things are less likely to be misplaced if the grown-up handles them.