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Posted on 05-03-2016
Tempted to buy your kids some cute sunglasses, with little concern for their effectiveness? No matter what they look like, sunglasses for children must protect against UV rays, just as adult models do. Even if you are making an over-the-counter purchase, rather than buying prescription models, you should make sure that they fit well in order to protect tiny eyes from long-term damage.
In the early years of life, children are extremely vulnerable to the sun. Those who experience sunburn before they are 18 are likely to have wrinkles; even infants need immediate protection from UV rays all year long, lest they later develop cataracts and other eye conditions. Coupled with a wide-brimmed hat, some sunscreen and a shade over the stroller or buggy affords protection, but even for very young children, sunglasses are the most protective option. As kids get older and start playing sports, having serious sunglasses is extremely important.
In selecting sunglasses for kids, it is important to have them fit closely to the child’s face and have lenses large enough to protect the area around the eye. For the best type of protection, look at products by companies such as Real Kids that make high-quality, flexible frame poly carbonate sunglasses designed just for kids; many manufacturers are picking up on this increasingly recognized new market niche. To be effective, kids’ glasses should be labeled to indicate that they protect against UVA and UVB rays.
Modern children’s sunglasses are available in styles similar to sophisticated adult styles, come in tones such as green, blue, tortoise, and black rather than exclusively in neon colors, and are even available in clip-on and magnetic models for kids who wear prescription lenses. Designer-influenced models, affiliated with Disney, cartoon characters, and young celebrities attract the attention of young wearers as well.
Encouraging young children to wear sunglasses has its challenges as sometimes they will enjoy wearing them for a while, before getting bored. The same thing happens with protective hats. Young sun worshipers will often remove hats and glasses and can be obstinate about putting either back on. Creative parents try a variety of techniques that might include:
When considering the purchase of sunglasses for your children, you may also want to have their vision checked, especially if they are more than three years of age. Young children may have problems in seeing that they cannot verbalize, but an optometrist has tools and instruments that allows them to ascertain vision problems in children.
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