Protect Your Eyes: Sunglasses and What You Should Look For Before Buying

Protect Your Eyes: Sunglasses and What You Should Look For Before Buying

Get the perfect pair of shades to get the complete protection you and your family need.

By: Andrea Updyke

As we are able to spend more and more time outdoors as a family, I am trying to train my kids and myself to be more aware of the sun. We need to protect ourselves from the harshness of sunlight while still enjoying the benefits of the outdoors.

Regardless of the temperature, protecting our skin and eyes is always an important part of enjoying time outside. While many people agree that sunscreen is a must for any prolonged amount of time outside, more still are unprepared when it comes to taking care of their eyes.

I was surprised to learn that it is actually possible to get sun damage to your eyes! I have had to retrain my brain to understand that sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory, but an important part of protecting my family and myself from sun damage. The best part is that it’s also OK to have fun with it!

Make sure your sunglasses fit. Frames that are too big or too small simply won’t get worn, no matter how cute they are. If your current frames give you a headache, replace them. If they fall off, it’s time to let them go. Sunglasses should stay on without squeezing.

If you have a hard time finding frames that fit, check with an optometrist or frame specialty store. Some companies offer special order frames for narrow or wide faces or frames with shorter or longer earpieces. For young children, consider investing in a pair with a band that goes all the way around their head to help keep them on.


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Make sure the lenses are clean and scratch free. If lenses are not comfortable to look through, you or your child won’t want to wear them. Furthermore, make sure they are tinted to your liking. I’ve had to ditch many a pair of cute shades because they just weren’t dark enough, and I found myself squinting even when I had them on.

Get a Prescription
If you wear glasses, consider getting prescription sunglasses. That way, on the days you don’t want to wear your contact lenses, you still have the freedom to wear sunglasses. Look for deals from your optometrist. Many times they will offer a free pair of sunglasses frames when you purchase regular eyeglasses.

Check the Labels
In order for your eyes to be truly protected from the sun, your sunglasses must have UVA/UVB protection. You don’t have to spend a fortune on quality lenses, however. Many discount stores offer a wide selection of frames with protected lenses for adults and kids.

Stock Up
Sunglasses are a necessity, but they are also a fun accessory. Don’t be afraid to have a few fun pairs on hand for casual or formal occasions, the beach or the pool! Choose from a variety of shapes, colors, sizes and frames to spice it up. Let your kids pick out a few pairs, and keep one set at home and another in the car for trips to the park. The more you enjoy your sunglasses, the more likely you (and your family) are to wear them.

By keeping your skin and eyes protected, you can relax and really enjoy your time outdoors swimming, biking, relaxing or doing whatever it is that you and your family loves to do outside!

Andrea is the founder of Lil Kid Things and also writes for the Babycenter Blog. She lives in Raleigh, N.C., where she spends her days caring for her two sons, Oscar and Calvin, and learning how to balance work, kids and marriage.

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