Having blue eyes, I've always been sensitive when I spend time in the sun. Sometimes it's just annoying being in the sun without any eye protection and I make an awful squinting grimace face. Other times it verges on the border of pain as I struggle to keep out intense sunlight from my sensitive eyes. Even worse is when that squinting and exposure to UV rays causes headaches.
After having LASIK in 2005, my eyes have gotten even more sensitive to sunlight. So understandably I spend a great deal of time in my sunglasses and if they're not on my face, they're usually on my head or close by just in case. Except in rare circumstances like dreary, rainy days, I wear my sunglasses almost all of the time if I'm outside. Even in the winter and on overcast days, I make sure I keep my eyes covered to ensure that (a) I can see without squinting and (b) protect my eyes against harmful UV rays that can lead to serious health effects.
Last week, I was on a conference call with Dr. Dora Adamopolous of The Vision Council and The Motherhood to learn about the health benefits of protecting your eyes from the sun's UV rays, as well as the long term risk of not doing so. Before the call I felt like I had a pretty good handle of the importance of protecting one's eyes but was amazed at the new information that I learned.
While I've already confessed my obsessive need to keep my eyes covered in the sun, I'm not as vigilant at keeping my daughter's eyes protected. Fighting a 4 year old and 15 month old to keep their sunglasses on is just no fun and to this point, has been a losing battle. But after learning that by the time a child turns 18 they will have acquired nearly 80% of lifetime exposure to UV rays, I've found renewed strength to continue encouraging them to keep sunglasses on their eyes while in the sun.
I know I'm not the only one that fights her children to wear sunglasses properly and keep them on their faces. Dr. Adamopolous provided some tips for encouraging your children to wear sunglasses that I'd love to share with you.
5 Tips to Help Your Children Wear Sunglasses Properly
- Actively engage children in UV protection. Bringing them into the process can be the difference between them wearing their sunglasses willingly, and them putting up a fight.
- Find comfortable, playful sunglasses. If something hurts, your child isn't going to want to wear it. When glasses are scratched they lose their efficacy.
- Lead by example. Kids pay attention to what you do – wear your sunglasses and they'll be more apt to wear theirs as well.
- Include children in the shopping experience. Take your kids shopping with you and allow them to select a pair of sunglasses they like. If they like the glasses, they will be more likely to wear them.
- If age appropriate, teach your child about UV radiation and why sunglasses are so important.
Read more about the benefits and risk of UV exposure at The Vision Council.
Do you have any tips for ensuring your family wears their sunglasses?
This is a partnered post.