How to protect your children’s eyes this summer

Did you know that children can absorb more UV into their eyes because their pupils are larger and the lens of their eyes is clearer?

Recent research, commissioned by Specsavers, revealed that almost all children under 16 own a pair of sunglasses, but less than half of these are always using them. Furthermore, nearly 1 in five may not be fully protecting their eyes as their parents admitted the frames didn’t, or they were unsure if they did, have full UV protection. Wearing sunglasses together with a wide brimmed hat can reduce UV exposure by as much as 98 per cent! “As a parent myself, I understand how difficult it can be to get kids to wear, and keep wearing, their sunglasses”, admits optometrist Karthi Param, “so having a simple no-sunnies-no-play rule, just like with seat belts and driving, helps kids to know they can’t go outside and play without their sunglasses. Getting them into the habit of grabbing their sunnies whenever they leave the house is really important.”

Top tips for keeping your child’s eyes sun safe:

  1. Start them early – there’s no set age sunglasses are recommended for kids, so it comes down to your child feeling comfortable in their pair. Start them young so they form good habits for life
  2. Fit comes first – wrap-around style sunglasses are usually more comfortable for kids – particularly active ones. This style also offers better protection as they wrap around the face and cover the sides of the eyes
  3. Check the tags – make sure that the sunglasses you choose offer a high level of UVA and UVB protection. Plus, for superior vision in bright light, opt for polarization. Avoid novelty glasses as these are often coloured lenses without any protection
  4. Wrap on sunnies all year round – check the UV report and the weather report and remember that even on cloudy or cooler days, the UV level can still be high
  5. Get their eyes tested regularly – the best way to encourage healthy eye habits for life is to ensure kids get an eye test every two years. Kids under 16 can get this free at Specsavers.
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