Children should wear sunglasses when outside

June 3, 2009 By Beth Whitehouse

How important is it for my child to wear sunglasses?

The long-term effects of excessive sunlight aren't seen early in life -- they show up when people are 60 or 70 years old and experience macular degeneration or issues, says Steven Schiff, an optometrist in Deer Park, N.Y.

Just as parents want to protect their children from by putting on them, parents should protect children's eyes by getting them in the habit of wearing sunglasses outdoors. "Some children are easier to convince than others," Schiff says. Emphasize the important of sunglasses by the time their children are 5 or so, he says.

Most sunglasses labeled 100 percent UV protection, and preferably 100 percent both UVA and UVB protection, are the best bet.

One mistake make is having don the shades only when they are going to the beach. If a child is outside playing sports or at a park, the eyes should be protected then as well, Schiff says.

An elastic strap that holds the glasses to the head or a looser-fitting strap that keeps the glasses around the neck when they're removed will help. Of course, a cord should not be used with a toddler's sunglasses.


(c) 2009, Newsday.
Visit Newsday online at
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Baby teethers soothe, but many contain low levels of BPA

December 7, 2016

Bisphenol-A (BPA), parabens and antimicrobials are widely used in personal care products and plastics. The U.S. and other governments have banned or restricted some of these compounds' use in certain products for babies and ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jun 03, 2009
Good luck getting children to wear them and not lose them. Maybe they need strap on goggles instead.
2.1 / 5 (7) Jun 03, 2009
Though my children at time do wear sunglasses, I'm not sure if it is good for them to wear them all the time. Just like being in the sun and slathering sunsreen on now has most of the population Vitamin D deficient, what will we find out in 20 years about childen not seening daylight unfiltered?

As Ive said before, humans are ment to be outside in the sun (again.... all things in moderation) so we use Sun tan lotion just not to burn and glasses so we can see better.
5 / 5 (1) Jun 04, 2009
Wasn't there research not long ago that showed that babies and toddlers who are not exposed to daylight are more likely to suffer from myopia and other eyesight problems?
not rated yet Jun 04, 2009
What does the article mean by excessive sunlight?
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 04, 2009
99.9% of humans have worked out doors in direct sunlight for most of recorded history up until the industrial revolution.

The sun is no more harmful than anything else in our environment. Sure, if you lay out in the sun all day long, or stare at it for a while, you will hurt your skin and eyes. but then again, you will also be hurt if you jump out of a tree from 50ft up. Doesn't mean trees are bad things either.

I wonder how much the idiots who wrote this got paid?
1 / 5 (2) Jun 04, 2009
"humans are ment to be outside in the sun"

Humans aren't 'meant' to do anything; we are just reasonably adapted to the environment we happen to find ourselves in.
2.5 / 5 (8) Jun 04, 2009
Scire, Meant or evolved who cares, both points would say we are either meant to or if you want, evolved to, be in the sun. Also I agree with Q C, 99.9999999% of humans through out history have been outdoors without sunshades... and humans have thrived. This study was probabaly paid for by a sunglasses manufacture.
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2009
There is a subtle yet distinct, and important difference between saying meant and evolved in this context. Meant implies that humans were implicitly designed to be exposed to the UV rays of the sun; and that being exposed to them is desired. Evolved implies that the UV rays of the sun are there, there is nothing that can be done about it so we have evolved as best we can to deal with it.

Note that because we have adapted to deal with something; such as viruses, does not automatically mean it is in our best interest to be exposed to them.

Also, 90% of humans never made it past the age of 40.
2.4 / 5 (5) Jun 04, 2009
Scire, I understand your point. That said, humans need to be exposed to the sun to live. If not, they will have a shortage of Vitamin D. So humans are meant to be exposed to be sun, just as (most) fish are meant to be exposed to the water.

1 / 5 (2) Jun 04, 2009
Yes vitamin D is important but it's an example of taking advantage of environment vs dealing with environment. I'm pretty sure most vitamin D is produced using skin; not our eyes.

Anyway, I just took issue with your implication that the environment was already perfectly crafted in which for us to live. Probably nothing more than a throwaway comment to you but it provoked a reaction in me.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.