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UV Protection for Toddlers

By: Anthony Tangeman

Whether you spend the day outside or you stay indoors, you are being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunlight and UV radiation are a part of everyday life. Although people tend to know that these rays are harmful, they often overlook this and later regret it. In addition to proper clothing and topical solutions, such as sunscreen, a pair of eyeglasses with UV protective lenses is an essential element for proper UV protection.

The sun’s harmful rays have both short-term and long-term effects on our skin cells. Short-term effects, which tend to be visible, include tanning, sunburn, and rashes. A sunburn may be easy to spot and feel, but many people forget to consider the more dangerous, long-term effects caused by UV radiation.

Among skin aging, damage to the immune system, and skin cancer, eye damage is a concern that comes along with long-term UV exposure. UV radiation can damage the eye’s surface tissues, as well as its internal structures. Specific eye conditions that UV rays can cause include, but are not limited to: cataracts, non-cancerous and cancerous growths, and macular degeneration. Because of this, UV protection should be sought out as soon as possible.

Babies are more susceptible to UV radiation than adults. Not only do our bodies go through physical changes that prevent more UV radiation from penetrating us, such as the thickening of our epidermis, but we simply become more capable of fending for ourselves in general.

For instance, think of a toddler, sitting in a stroller and being pushed around by their parent during a bright, sunny day. The parent might not notice, but their child very well could be receiving the full force of the sun. Adults, and even older children, may have temporary solutions against the sun, some as simple as blocking out the rays by covering their faces of turning away from the sun. However, younger children can not do this. They are defenceless against the sun. They are simply helpless against it and will take the brunt of the UV rays unless they have proper protection. Because of this, it is critical to invest in UV protective eyewear for your children, particularly your babies and toddlers.

When seeking protection for either yourself or your child, it is important to understand that UV radiation is broken down into three subtypes: UVA, UVB, and UVC waves. It should be noted that UVC waves, with their shorter wavelengths, are completely absorbed by the Earth’s ozone layer. Because of this, we only need to be concerned with UVA and UVB waves.

The material used in your eyeglass lenses or UV coating/dye is what determines your UV protection. Below is a table showing inherent UV protection for various lens materials.


GoSmartEyewear specializes in protective eyewear for babies and toddlers. Be sure to consider UV protection when ordering your eyeglasses. Care should be taken as soon as possible to protect your child’s eyes, and even your own eyes, from harm. If you have any questions or concerns about UV protection or any other eyecare needs, please feel free to contact GoSmartEyewear.