The tender age of babies is highly vulnerable to several illnesses. It requires utmost care and precautions to protect their bodies from external attacks. The eyes are one of the most delicate organs and should be shielded from high-intensity glare and UV radiation. But isn’t that a problem for adults too?
Yes, harmful light is detrimental for adults too, but babies’ eyes are more insecure because it is in the developing stage. Compared to the lens of an adult eye, the lens inside your baby's eyes permits more solar radiation to reach the retina. The total amount of UV radiation the eyes are exposed to over our lifetime is known as cumulative exposure. The majority of UV rays-induced long-term eye damage results from cumulative exposure.
This prolonged exposure to harmful radiation since childhood leads to eye damage in adulthood. The best way to protect your baby's eyes, in the long run, is to protect them from UV rays. So, as much as possible, babies should wear sunglasses, that provide 100% UVA protection.
This article explores the various challenges of managing sunglasses for babies and selecting the right shades ensuring it provides the appropriate protection without causing any inconveniences.
What Dangers Do Babies’ Eyes Have?
Infants and children under the age of ten have extremely sensitive eyes. The crystalline lens in a baby's eye cannot filter out the sun's UV rays because their eyes are still developing. This means that more blue and harmful UV rays can enter their eyes, making babies more vulnerable to defective retinas and other eyesight problems.
According to London Ophthalmology Centre, "All children should have their eyes protected from sunlight to prevent not only sunburn to the eyelids but also damage to the internal delicate tissues of the eye itself.”
ALERT: Did you know up to 25% of UV damage to our eyes occurs by the age of 18?
For babies, even a brief exposure to the sun can cause damage, which can lead to a variety of eye diseases in adulthood. The effects of cumulative exposure are the main cause of macular degeneration, color dulling, cataracts, or even a rare form of eye cancer.
What If Babies Dislike Wearing Sunglasses?
That is a challenge indeed. Baby sunglasses can be difficult for children to wear. Many children will discard their sunglasses as soon as they feel discomfort. Don't be worried if your baby attempts to take their sunglasses off every time you put them on. They are too young to get used to an accessory on their face.
Nevertheless, like any other aspect of life, it’s all about how the child is trained to use sunglasses. The sooner the baby understands the need to protect their eyes, then it gets easier for them to adapt to wearing sunglasses.
The good news sunglass manufacturers have created innovative products suiting babies’ needs to protect their eyes. Special baby sunglasses are made of lightweight polycarbonate lenses and a rubber frame. They are comfortable and shatterproof to suit the baby’s skin without causing any irritation or inconvenience.
Some of the popular brands of sunglasses for babies are Baby Banz, Babiators, Hipsterkid, Roshambo Baby, and Real Kids Shades.
Ensure that your child's sunglasses completely block UVA and UVB rays, or UV absorption up to 400 nm. The amount of UV protection they offer should be listed on a sticker or tag.
Sunglasses are no exception to the general rule that babies like to twirl and drag their clothing. Look for a pair of sunglasses that will fit snugly; they should go around their face and over their ears in order to stay on their face.
Check the frames and look for ones that can flex a little without breaking. Although no lens is completely unbreakable, plastic and polycarbonate lenses are the best option because they are less likely to break and harm your baby's face.
Polarized lenses are not necessary for your baby's sunglasses. But even so, because they lessen the amount of glare caused by the sun's rays reflecting off reflective surfaces, they can be a good option for when you're driving or out on the water. Also, ensure that they provide 100% UV protection.
The UV protection is what matters most, not the shade or tint of the sunglasses. Don't be tricked into thinking that your baby's eyes will be better protected by darker lenses. Your baby will typically only require a medium lens; however, if you intend to be in extremely bright light, then a darker lens may be useful.
Keep infants less than six months out of the sun. When they grow older, you should remain vigilant about keeping them out of the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are at their strongest. Always ensure that your baby is protected from the sun to protect their eyes now. This helps prevent eye diseases in their adulthood. Establishing good sun safety habits early on can help your child have healthy vision for the rest of their life.