With all this lovely sunshine lately there has been fresh concern in the press recently about parents neglecting to protect their children’s eyesight from harmful UV Rays. As many as three out of four parents are guilty of such disregard towards their children’s own health.
A poll of 2,000 people for the College of Optometrists revealed some interesting, if somewhat scary results: –
- Nearly a third of parents in Britain do not buy their children sunglasses at all
- Half of those that do buy sunglasses for their children put price before protection
- Only a quarter buy sunglasses of a trusted brand
Exposure to UV rays from sunlight can cause irreparable damage to the retina and lens of the eye and can lead to long-term damage and conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration later in life.
The more UV exposure a person has during their life, the higher their risk will be. Research suggests that up to 80% of a person’s exposure to harmful UV light happens before the age of 18, yet over three-quarters of parents don’t make sure their children wear sunglasses. People in sunnier climates such as Australia, the Mediterranean or high up in the mountains should take extra care to protect their eyes.
It is recommend throughout the Optics industry that people follow some of these guidelines when it comes to protecting yours and your children’s eyesight: –
- Choose dark glasses with a CE mark for quality
- Make sure any sunglasses (or prescription glasses) you purchase have full 100% UV Protection – FREE with www.SelectSpecs.com Yes, even transparent prescription lenses can offer full UV Protection
- Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive, as long as they offer the protection of the CE mark and 100% UV Protection
- If you can’t get your children to wear sunglasses the next best option is to get them wearing a sunhat with a wide peak to help shade their eyes
- Make sure the sunglasses fit your child well. If your child is able to look over the top of the lenses, they may as well not be wearing any
- If your child is particularly active you can purchase bands that go round the back of their head to stop the sunglasses falling down
- If you have light coloured eyes i.e. blue eyes, you are most at risk and should always wear sunglasses. If you wear prescription glasses, we recommend upgrading to Photochromic Lenses that darken automatically in sunlight
- Don’t buy knock-off sunglasses, particularly from market stalls, auction websites, or dodgy characters in pubs or service station car parks and be especially wary of buying sunglasses in Asian countries. Cheap sunglasses often provide ZERO UV Protection, which is actually worse than wearing no sunglasses at all because the pupils will dilate behind the dark lenses allowing more harmful UV Rays into the eye.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists recommends children wear protective sunglasses if they are likely to be exposed to a lot of UV light, such as during a day at the beach, while very young children or babies should not be exposed to bright sunshine at all.
At SelectSpecs one of our most popular Small Fit Sunglasses have been the reasonably priced Bolle Spry Sunglasses – ideal for children or people with very small faces.
Other Resources: –
- BBC News