That’s something I hear almost every morning as I drive eastbound on Kilpatrick Turnpike. My toddler, who is strapped in to his car seat, in the middle of the back row, is in direct exposure to the glaring sun every morning.
I’ll hold up my purse, a sheet of paper, his backpack, anything to keep the sun out of his eyes. He’s even been seen sporting my huge sunglasses.
According to Dr. David Granet, a pediatric ophthalmologist who writes in for BabyCenter.com, sunglasses for babies and toddlers is a great idea. UV rays raise risks for problems later in life, including cataracts or poor vision. Here are a few tips:
1. Wear sunglasses yourself, because toddlers want to copy their parents. I usually wear mine … unless he insists on wearing mine.
2.If your child is very resistant to wearing sunglasses, try a visor or cap. I’m lucky that my son love baseball caps. He’ll occasionally pull it down over his eyes to keep out the sun.
3. If buying sunglasses, make sure the label says it blocks 99 to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. The lens color doesn’t matter when it comes to blocking rays. Of course, your toddler will look cooler with some heavy-tinted shades.
4. Good sunglasses don’t need to cost a fortune. A good pair can be found for $10 to $50. My son has Hot Wheels sunglasses that block 100% of rays and I got them for $7. More importantly, he’ll wear them.
I also used window sunshades when my son was an infant, on the two back windows and rear window of my car as an extra layer of protection.
Like using sunblock to protect children’s skin, protecting their eyes should be equally as important. It’s not something you always hear about or think about, but just remember when you’re out in the sun, to protect those little peepers.
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor