80 per cent of your lifetime exposure in the eye happens before 18, so it’s essential for children to stay protected from UV. Mums and dads will put sun cream on kids, but can neglect sunglasses as well. The sunglasses give them more protection than you could realize
Children under age 10 are at a high risk for skin and eye damage from UVR. The skin on their eyelids and around their eyes is more delicate and vulnerable than adult skin. Until about the age of 10, the lens of a child’s eye is clear, allowing greater solar penetration and thus greater UVR-induced ocular changes. After that, the lens starts to become more opaque, providing better protection.
UVR exposure causes 90 percent of all skin cancers. In addition, retinal exposure to UVR is associated with cataracts and macular degeneration, both causes of vision impairment. UVR damage builds over time, so the sooner you start protecting your children’s eyes from the sun, the lower their risk will be of ever developing future eye problems.
Fortunately, good sunglasses protect both the skin around the eye and the eye itself. While children under 6 months old should never be exposed to the sun, once they reach 6 months, they should wear sunglasses outside. If they require prescription glasses, they should also wear prescription sunglasses.