I would HOVER in fear so closely over my
little dumplings that they couldn't move naturally to scale the playground
toys. And often, I would knock them off and have to catch them. There comes a
point where a thinking person decides that’s not the best strategy. As parents, I’m sure we ALL have confessions
of overprotective behavior.
Today I was
a tiny bit heartbroken when I was flipping through a magazine with a two page
spread photo of a royal family on their yacht. Doesn’t sound very sad does it?
There were the prince, and the princess, and the queen wearing their designer
sunglasses shielding their eyes from the harsh glare of the water. One of their
three little tikes had on a very expensive pair of sport sunglasses. The other
two very tiny kids had nothing. They just squinted against the sun.
As a society
we spend 1 BILLION1 dollars worldwide in our quest to prevent skin
cancer. Every summer we vie for the safest and most protective sunscreen to
slather on our kids. We cover the tips of their ears to the tips of their toes.
And send them off without sunglasses.
Why are we forgetting this essential
protection for our kids and what are the effects of our oversight?
Here are the
the soapbox stats:
Approximately 80% of
lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of 18 years.2,3
Children under age 10 are
considered to be more susceptible to eye damage because of the light color of
the pediatric eye. Sunglasses should be
worn whenever the child may be in the sun long enough to get a sunburn or tan. Sunglasses should be chosen to block 99% or
more of the full UV spectrum as indicated on the label. Because there is no
uniform labeling, parents should be wary of nonspecific labels such as “blocks
harmful UV.” Even infants should wear
Most of this information
is from 1999-2004. Research is never ending though. More recent research is
showing tendencies toward a connection of UV exposure and macular degeneration
as well as cataracts and skin cancer. Until they are proven wrong, why would
you risk it?
Why are we forgetting to
put sunglasses on our kids? Only you can answer that. The next time you step outside and the sun
reflecting off the snow, off the water or off the pavement makes your eyes
water, think about how uncomfortable the tender eyes of your child are. Check
with your local ABO Certified Opticians to find the best sun protection for
your kids. Certified Opticians are educated about children’s eyewear needs and
provide reliable quality sunwear protection for a reasonable price.