A question I get a lot from my patients and GlamBaby customers is, “how do I know which kind of sunglasses are good for my child?”. You may think all sunglasses are equal but that is not the case. REAL SUNGLASSES are meant to prevent sun damage in the eyes, not just be fashionable.
Before purchasing a pair of sunglasses for your child you want to make sure they are from a reputable and trusted brand, for this reason, I would stay away from sunglasses found at the dollar stores, novelty sunglasses, and sunglasses that are not from a reliable retailer. Many non-brand sunglasses can be found on Amazon, Target, and Walmart that are very cute, but should not be worn outdoors because they offer no actual eye protection and are considered to be toys.
So what makes a pair of sunglasses protect the eyes? Glasses that offer 100% UVA + UVB protection in the lenses, or they may indicate “UV 400nm” are the ONLY type of sunglasses to shield the dangerous UV light from the vulnerable eyes of our children. To find this information, there will either be a sticker on the glasses indicating the protection, written on the product packaging, or stated on their website. If there is no sign of UV protection, move on to another brand of sunglasses.
In reality, ineffective UV protection can harm your child’s eyes even more than if they didn’t wear sunglasses at all. Toy sunglasses that do not have the proper UV protection create a dark tint for the eyes, creating larger pupils to let in more light but won’t prevent the sun’s dangerous rays from getting into the eyes. This can lead to sun damage in the eyes that can then cause early macular degeneration, cataracts, and some eye cancers.
Just because a pair of sunglasses are fashionable and look nice, doesn’t mean that they are for eye health. Read the labels and do your research before purchasing a pair of sunnies for the kids in your life.
xo, Dr. Arian Fartash