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Should Kids Wear Sunglasses? | Long Island Eye Doctor

Should Kids Wear Sunglasses?
Michelle Zalaznick, OD

It is especially important for children and kids to wear sunglasses when they are outdoors for a prolonged period of time.

Why should kids wear sunglasses?

Children need sunglasses even more than adults because the skin around their eyes is thinner and more delicate than adults. Therefore, their eyelids will burn with excessive sun exposure. Also, children’s lenses inside their eyes are clearer than adult lenses allowing more sunlight to reach the retina. This can lead to cataracts and retinal damage later in life. Sunlight can cause the cornea to burn as well. This can cause eyes to burn and tear.

Effects of Kids not wearing sunglasses

According to the American National Standards Institue (ANSI), sunglasses should block ultra violet light up to 400nm. It is important that the sunglass lenses block 100% UVA and UVB rays. The percentage of UV blockage in the sunglasses is more important than the color of the  lenses. In fact,  if the sunglass lenses are too dark this will cause the pupils to dilate and allow more harmful sunlight into the eyes. Wearing a hat or visor is another way protecting against sunlight exposure.

Remember whenever a parent is applying  sunblock, that is the time sunglasses should be worn. Sunglasses lenses should be impact resistant and scratch resistant.

Dr. Michelle Zalaznick

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