How important are children's sunglasses?

Nov 08, 2003 in Leightons News

How important are children's sunglasses?

How long a life will your child have? There are those who assert (mostly on the internet) that the first person to achieve 200 years will have already have been born. Whether this is true or not, trends indicate that living to over 100 years will become the rule rather than the exception in the developed world.

Parents will have to rethink how they can ensure that the later years of their child’s life are not ruined by avoidable health problems. Good parents may become those who plan carefully for their child’s 101st rather than 21st birthday.

One of the problems of very old age is failing eyesight. Many eye diseases, rare at 70 years are common 20 years later. Any increase in the lifespan will have a dramatic effect on the numbers suffering from serious eye disease.

Yet parents have a simple way of ensuring that their child has every chance of maintaining good eyesight.

Sunlight has a very damaging effect on the ocular tissues. It increases the rate at which cataracts form and, even more importantly, it is thought to have a significant impact on the development of macular degeneration.

Sunglass protection is so important for a child because their young eyes are much more vulnerable. Pupils are much larger in younger people and the eyes are clearer letting more sunlight through to the back of the eye. Also, children tend to spend much longer outside that most adults. It has been estimated that up to 80 per cent of UV damage occurs before the age of 18 years.

Top tips

Get children to wear their favourite sun hat with a wide brim or a peak.

Choose children’s sunglasses that are robust and comfortable to wear (let the child have the final choice).

Ensure the children’s sunglasses are comfortable – qualified dispensing opticians in Leightons will always be happy to adjust sunglasses you have purchased from us no matter how many times your little one bends them out of shape.

Wear sunglasses yourself to set a good example.

On bright winter days the hat and child’s sunglasses should be worn as the low sun can be especially dazzling and damaging.

Adults today often blame their parents for their poor teeth. Perhaps the next generation will blame their parents for their poor eyesight? To avoid this, get your children’s eyes tested regularly - Click here to book an eye test