Do Children Need Sunglasses?

Too much exposure to UV rays, especially sunlight reflected off sand or water, can lead to chronic eye disease. Protect your precious peepers with these sun-blocking tips.

Baby with SungalssesResearch shows that excessive exposure to UV rays, especially from light reflected off sand, snow or pavement, can cause a painful type of corneal sunburn. The cumulative damage of repeated UV exposure also may contribute to chronic eye disease

Fortunately, most children don’t spend all day in the bright sun and they naturally protect their eyes from high light levels by squinting. However, eye protection is particularly important for children who spend all day on the water or at the beach, where there is intense glare.

Prevent Blindness America offers these tips to protect children from UV rays:

  • Buy sunglasses that block the maximum amount (99 to 100 percent) of both types of UV-A and UV-B rays, fit closely to the face and have larger lenses for more coverage.
  • In addition to sunglasses, wear a hat to reduce overall exposure to UV rays.
  • Don’t look directly at the sun.
  • Limit the amount of time spent outside during the peak sun hours (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Follow these tips for choosing the right pair of sunglasses for your child.

Return to our Summer Safety Survival Guide.