Sunglasses for children23.08.2022
Ultraviolet radiation harms the eyes and negatively affects vision, doctors warn. The eyes of children are especially sensitive to ultraviolet light, this is due to the peculiarity of the lens. Therefore, ophthalmologists recommend that parents wear sunglasses for their children.
How to choose glasses for a child, what to look for when choosing, from what age children can wear glasses – these and other questions are answered by Igor Erikovich Aznauryan , pediatric ophthalmologist and ophthalmic surgeon, doctor of medical sciences, professor, founder of Yasny Vzor children’s eye clinics.
How does the sun damage your eyes?
Ultraviolet radiation is dangerous to the eyes. If you look directly at the sun, especially in summer, the ultraviolet that comes from the sun can damage retinal cells and cause irreparable damage to the eyes. This is very harmful to the eyes and affects visual acuity.
Is solar radiation dangerous for children’s eyes and what pathologies can it cause?
You may have noticed how children play the game of who will look directly at the sun the longest. Unfortunately, such games can cause irreparable damage to eye health. It is important that parents pay attention to this and clearly explain to their children why this should not be done.
What is the use of sunglasses? Should children wear them?
The lens of a child’s eye, unlike an adult’s, passes more UV rays to the retina. Before the age of ten, the eyes are especially sensitive and therefore more susceptible to ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, we especially recommend that children wear sunglasses.
If you are on holiday with your child at sea or in the mountains, where there is high ultraviolet radiation, then take your child sunglasses and make sure that he wears them. But we need not ordinary glasses, where the strength of the blackout does not matter, but those that protect against UV radiation.
We also recommend wearing glasses in intense visible light, as frequent changes in light levels can overwork your eyes. In very bright light, the pupil lacks the force of constriction – the person begins to squint, because of this, the eyes get tired, and overworking the eyes can lead to a headache.
At what age can children wear sunglasses? And how often should they be worn?
There is no specific age at which children should wear sunglasses. The most important rule is to start when it is comfortable for the child himself. In general, sunglasses can be worn from the age of one or one and a half years.
A good frame should be appropriate for the age of the child. I advise you to purchase glasses in specialized optics salons, and in some advanced eye clinics you will find models of sunglasses for children of different ages.
Despite the fact that such glasses protect against solar radiation, we do not recommend wearing them too often: due to the constant use of sunglasses, the eyes begin to weaken and cannot remain without protection.
What types of children’s sunglasses are there?
Just like for adults, there are different types of sunglasses for children. Optician shops and eye clinics offer many models. The main ones are:
- browliners – with a massive top and no lower part;
- aviators – with drop-shaped lenses and thin frames;
- wayfarers – with a plastic frame, a characteristic trapezoidal shape;
- cat’s eye – with a frame with sharp upper edges;
- Tishades – with classic round lenses.
If a child has vision problems, are there corrective sunglasses with diopters?
Yes, such glasses, of course, exist, they need to be specially ordered. The main criterion in the selection of such glasses is the correspondence of the diopters that the doctor indicated in the prescription for glasses.
Also, parents should not forget that children’s vision is changing rapidly, so once or twice a year, we, ophthalmologists, recommend bringing the child to us for an appointment and checking their eyesight in order to replace glasses if necessary.
How to choose the right sunglasses for a child?
I will highlight a few points that parents need to pay attention to when choosing sunglasses for a child.
First, the lens material must be made of plastic with a high degree of UV protection. Only those glasses are safe that have a UV filter on the label.
Secondly, the glasses must be of a certain intensity so that the child is not very excited from the light. For example, light gray or brown lenses are suitable for the city, which do not create much contrast when lighting changes, or “chameleons” that can adapt to the lighting. For travel at sea or in the mountains, dark brown or black lenses are more suitable, which protect against bright light.
Thirdly, glasses should convey real colors, not distort objects in space, be as comfortable as possible to wear, that is, lie freely on the ears and on the bridge of the nose. The frame of the glasses should be wide, completely covering the eyes.
What are the health risks of low-quality sunglasses?
There are no low-quality glasses, there are UV-absorbing and non-absorbing glasses. Glasses that do not absorb UV will only harm your eyes, so get glasses that absorb UV rays. Manufacturers, as I said, mark the degree of protection, pay attention to the information on the label.
If you go to an optician or an eye clinic, a consultant will help you find the right glasses for your child. So the harm of ultraviolet radiation is not a reason to be afraid of the sun when the child’s eyes are protected.
- Mosin I.M., Neudakhina E.A., Rasulova S.G. Photodamage of the retina and optic nerve in children caused by the sun and lasers. Nurse. 2018; 20(2):11-3.