Children’s eyes are naturally more sensitive to damaging environmental factors:
The average child receives three times more annual UV exposure compared to an adult
When under age 10, a child’s eye lens allows more than six times the amount of UV rays to enter the eye compared to an adult’s eye.
When you protect the skin around the eyes during the first 18 years of life, the risk of cancer may be reduced by as much as 50 percent!
How to protect your child from the harmful effects of UV rays
Wearing a hat consistently outdoors, especially with a wide brim, blocks as much as 50% of the sun’s UV radiation.
Photosensitive prescription lenses can be made for your child that wears glasses. These lenses darken with exposure to UV rays, so your child doesn’t have to change from clear to dark glasses.
Wearing sunglasses with proper UV filter of both UVA and UVB light is important to provide the early protection as described above.
There are many brands of children’s sunwear that will fit infants, toddlers, active sport enthusiasts and generally rough and tumble kids alike.
Along with the UV protection of sunglasses, your child may also be protected by dust and other impact when playing. And they might even think they look cool!
Playing in water has an increased reflectance upwards into the eye, and the same from snow in the winter. Even certain kinds of clouds can actually increase UV exposure! So think of those goggles,
Contact lenses- discuss with your Optometrist the UV protection from specific brands of contact lenses. UV blocking lotion is still needed on the skin, and a hat for glare, but the improved peripheral vision and all-day UV protection is a consideration especially for those involved in lots of outdoor activities.
Think about high-risk UV exposure- the UV index is highest between 11am and 3pm, so consider extra protection then, or select outdoor time for your little ones before and after those times, but still use your UV protection!
AND, remember- Slip, Slap, Slop on the UV lotion, after swimming, sweating or otherwise every two hours !