Here are some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology for protecting babies' and children's eyes:
- Look for sunglasses that offer protection from UVA and UVB, two types of ultraviolet light that can injure the eye.
- Cheap sunglasses, without UV protection, actually do more harm than good because tinted lenses cause the pupils to dilate, letting in damaging UV rays.
- Choose frames made from polycarbonates, which are less likely to break. Look for acrylic or other scratch-resistant lens material.
- Let older children choose their sunglasses. Make sure they try them on to check for comfort.
- Select frames with a built-in saddle for the nose. They're more durable than ones with adjustable nose pads.
- Be aware that light-colored eyes have less pigment and are more sensitive to the sun.
- Buy prescription sunglasses or clip-on sunglasses for children who wear prescription eyeglasses.
- Offer brimmed hats and baseball caps to children who just won't wear sunglasses.
- Be a good role model. Wear your own sunglasses and hats outdoors.