Sunglasses Can Save Your Child’s Vision
We have officially said goodbye to winter and have fully welcomed spring with open arms! With spring comes longer days and warmer weather. The sun shines bright, and we can spend much more time basking in the warmth of the sun than we could in the winter. While many people revel at the thought of taking the family outdoors for some adventures, you should always be conscious of the dangers the sun presents.
The sun emits harmful UV rays that can lead to irreparable damage to your eyes. While the sun does emit vitamin D that can keep your body healthy, this only helps in short periods of time. If you spend too much time in the sun, these UV rays can harm not just your skin, but your eyes, as well. Adult’s eyes are far more developed than that of a young child’s, which means your eyes are better protected from the dangers of UV rays. However, because your child’s eyes have not fully developed yet, these UV rays can drastically impact their eyes. Thankfully, sunglasses are available for young children.
Even though you can provide your little one with sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, that doesn’t mean they’re going to wear them. Virtually every parent has gone through the struggle of getting their child to wear sunglasses, so they know it’s no easy feat. However, First Eye Care North Arlington is here to provide you with some useful tips to get your child to wear sunglasses.
The Importance of Sunglasses
Sunglasses are arguably the best ways to protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. UV rays are known as ultraviolet radiation. The sun emits them every single day, even in the dead of winter. In the spring and summer, however, the days are longer, which means you are exposed to these rays more often. These rays are also stronger than in the winter.
There are two types of UV rays that can directly harm your eyes: UV-A and UV-B.
- UV-A: Attack your central vision, damaging your macula, the part of the retina found at the back of the eye. The macula is responsible for clear vision.
- UV-B: The cornea and lens, which are found on the front of your eyes, absorb most UV-B rays. However, if they absorb too much, they can suffer severe damage.
When your eyes are exposed to too much sunlight, they are put at a greater risk of developing several different vision-threatening eye conditions. Some of these conditions include:
Many adults wear sunglasses, but not near as many children wear them. While we understand that it can be difficult to get your child to wear their sunglasses and keep them on, it’s important. A young child has very sensitive eyes, which means they are more vulnerable to damage than adults. Their lens remains clear until they are around ten years old, which means their eyes can’t filter UV rays. Adult’s lenses are opaque, so they can easily filter these rays.
Because their eyes can’t adequately protect them from harmful UV rays, they need outside protection, which is where sunglasses come into play.
As we have said several times throughout this article, many children don’t like wearing sunglasses. It’s not for the lack of trying either. Young children are not used to the sensation of wearing something that rests on their faces. Even further, this thing they are wearing changes how they see the world, often making the world seem darker. With this in mind, it’s completely understandable why many children find this whole experience uncomfortable and strange.
Getting your child to wear their sunnies is often a long process and takes patience. However, you can make the process smoother by following some of these tips.
Take Your Time
Do not force your child to wear them. Put the sunglasses on your child, but do not get angry or frustrated with them when they inevitably take them off shortly after. Give your child time to adjust to the sensation of having something on their face that alters the way they see the world. In due time, they will grow more and more accustomed to wearing their sunglasses. However, you may be the lucky parent whose child loves wearing their sunglasses and never takes them off. In that case, good for you!
The minds of young children are impressionable. They are still developing habits that they will take with them throughout their lives. Like you would instill the habit of brushing their teeth, do the same with wearing sunglasses. In a study by the University College of London, they discovered that it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit. This time does vary, but it does show to develop a new habit, like wearing sunglasses, it takes time, so be consistent. Put sunglasses on your child every time they walk out into the sun.
Let Your Child Choose
An easy way to get your child to wear sunglasses is to let them choose the pair that they want! After all, why would they wear a pair that they don’t like? Take them with you when you go to buy their sunglasses. Let them pick out a style and color they like. Most eye care centers offer a wide selection of sunglasses, so your child will definitely find a pair they love. However, make sure the glasses they get offer 100% UV protection and are durable.
Lead by Example
Most of what a child learns at a young age is learned from watching their parents. They emulate the behaviors of those who care for them. As a parent, you are who they spend the most time with, so it only makes sense that they would copy the things that you do. So, take advantage of this! In situations that you want your child to wear their sunglasses, put yours on. Show your child that mommy or daddy loves to wear their sunglasses whenever they are out in the sun. They will soon recognize this behavior and eventually adopt it themselves.
A child’s eyes are much more sensitive than an adult’s eyes. UV rays have a higher chance of causing damage to their eyes if they aren’t protected. However, getting your child to wear sunglasses can be a tricky task. There are plenty of ways you can teach your child to consistently wear their shades. If you are looking for sunglasses for your child or even for yourself, stop by and visit First Eye Care North Arlington today.