We are all too aware of what happens when we don’t wear enough sunscreen.
As parents we religiously apply sunscreen to our children’s faces, arms and legs, we keep them covered and in the shade and make sure they wear a hat, but do we all make sure our children’s eyes are protected too?
National Sunnies Day in November, was launched by Queensland Eye Institute to raise awareness for the importance of wearing sunnies daily.
A good pair of sunglasses protects the eyes from UV light. UV radiation can affect the eyes in a number of way, short term exposure can cause mild irritation, acute photo keratopathy (sunburn of the cornea), inflammation and blinking. Long term exposure to UV radiation however can be far more damaging; therefore it is important to protect our children’s eyes from as early as possible.
When buying sunnies for your kids look out for labels that say the sunglasses comply with the Australia Standard for Sunglasses AS/NZS and that the lenses have an eye protection factor (EPF) of 9 or 10. Sunglasses should wrap around the face, be close fitting and cover as much of the eye as possible.
It can however be hard to get our kids to wear and keep on sunglasses! Try having a conversation with your child around then importance of sun protection for their eyes as well as their skin. When buying sunglasses for your children also don’t forget, sunnies for kids can be cool too! There are now plenty of sunglasses designed for children that not only offer excellent sun protection but also are suitable for even the most fashion conscious kid!
For toddlers and babies you can buy sunglasses that are kept in place with elastic strips that go around the head. For young children make sure they wear a wide-brimmed hat and stay in the shade, although try to still encourage them to wear their sunnies.
If you kids are super sporty, keep their eyes safe by buying them specialised sunglasses for sports, including cycling glasses, sailing glasses and even some swimming googles with EFP 10 are available too.
At Life Education we teach about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle and outdoor play can be a great way to get your kids some extra exercise and some fresh air as long as everyone stays sun safe!
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