Even though babies can’t wear traditional sunglasses, they still require UV protection for their eyes, warns the B.C. Association of Optometrists. Cranbrook optometrist Dr. Bednarczyk says damage from ultra-violet light has a cumulative effect, so it’s better to start protecting children’s eyes while they are young. “Over time, UV radiation can damage the cornea, lens or retina of the eyes, and can be linked to a number of eye disorders including cataracts, macular degeneration and cancer,” says Dr. Bednarczyk.
For most children, summer months mean long hours of play outside in the sunshine. But a few months in the sun can lead to compromised eye health later on if proper UV protection isn’t part of children’s summer routines. The British Columbia Association of Optometrists urges parents to foster good UV eye-protection habits in their children at an early age by encouraging them to wear sunglasses all summer long. Even babies and toddlers should be wearing sunglasses when outdoors.