Eye Protection

We always hear about the harmful effects of UV sunlight on the skin, especially when it comes to a child’s skin. However, when it comes to the harmful effects of sun exposure, a child’s eyes are just as susceptible to sun damage as their skin is. For example, it is well documented that even after just one day spent in the sun without the use of proper eye protection, permanent eye damage can occur, such as issues involving cataracts and vision loss down the road of the child’s life. Also, if exposed to the sun, the cornea of the eye can experience a sunburn, which will cause the eyes to become sore, red, and watery.

Seek Shade

One of the best and easiest ways to prevent sun damage to a child’s eyes is to seek shelter from the sun. This means making sure your child is well shaded from the sun. Shade from the sun can be sought easily by using a number of methods. For example, simply by sticking to shady areas where the sun cannot reach, such as under a tree, or roofed area, your child’s eyes are automatically protected. However, if you are venturing out in direct exposure to the sun, be sure to arm your child’s eyes with a few products. For instance, a cover for your stroller which offers UV protection is a wise choice. These covers can be bought for a reasonable price and offer both UVA and UVB sun protection, as well as being flame and water resistant. In addition to protecting the child from the sun rays, these covers also protect from the wind, bugs, and dust. Another smart defense against sun damage to your child’s eyes is have your child wear a hat that has a wide brim so as to shade the eyes. These hats can be purchased for usually under twenty dollars, and often block up to 98 percent of UV rays, while being very comfortable and extremely easy to travel with.

Woman and daughter seeking shade under a sun umbrella.

Sunglasses

A common and most effective way to protect your child’s eyes from the harmful rays of the sun is to be sure they wear the proper sunglasses while out in the sun. This means not just buying any old pair of sunglasses. You should make sure that your child’s sunglasses are of a high quality. While this does not mean that you need to buy an expensive pair, it does mean that the sunglasses should be equipped with the ability to protect from the sun’s UV rays.

Thus, for example, when searching for sunglasses for your child, seek out those that block 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays, and are styled with wrap-around technology. Also look for sunglasses that are durable and won’t get easily broken during the often rough and tumble play your child will engage in. Furthermore, be sure the sunglasses you choose for your child do not have scratched or dented lenses, as this can decrease the protective factor against the sun’s rays. These tips are also important when considering both sport goggles and swimming goggles for your child.

Little girl wearing sunglasses.

Let Your Kids Help

Even if you arm your child with all the necessary gear to protect them from the sun’s harmful UV rays (hats, sunglasses, etc), children will often refuse to wear their protective gear, discarding them as soon as they are out of your sight. So, one way to increase the chances that your child will not only keep wearing their gear when out in the sun, but also enjoy doing so, is to include your child during the purchasing stage of such gear. Thus, for example, when you are searching for the right pair of sunglasses, ask your child which pair they like the best. The last thing you want happening is to have your child stuck wearing a pair of sunglasses that not only do they dislike, but their friends don’t like either, thus leading to the possibility of your child being teased for their eye wear, which a sure-fire way your child will quickly toss those glasses away. This same logic goes for hats, too. In the end, if your child likes the protective gear he is wearing, the higher chance that he will keep wearing it.