When it's nice out, it's great to get outdoors with your baby! However, babies' eyes are more sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) rays than adult eyes. The sense of sight gradually develops from birth, which is why infants' eyes are still fragile. Children's sunglasses, hats and shaded areas are all ways to protect your baby's eyes. Here are our tips for taking the proper steps to keep your child's eyes healthy.
The dangers of the sun for your baby's eyes
To better preserve an infant's eyesight, it is essential to understand the risks associated with sun exposure. Children's eyes are fragile; the younger they are, the more sensitive they are.
In adults, a part of UV rays is filtered by the lens. In children, the lens is still developing. This explains why UV rays penetrate much deeper into their eyes until they reach the retina. Overexposure of a baby's eyes to the sun can therefore cause damage.
As with the skin, overexposure to the sun's rays can lead to sunburn in the eye. This temporary burn is called photokeratitis, ultraviolet keratitis or photophthalmia.
Protect your baby's eyes with proper sunglasses
The advantage of having a baby wear good-quality sunglasses is that they stop 100% of UV rays. And when buying a pair of sunglasses for children, they must fit well.
Don't hesitate to visit an IRIS store nearest you:
- The eyewear should cover the eye well. Therefore, the frame should follow the eyebrows and prevent UV rays from passing through the top.
- The size of the sunglasses should be adapted to the child's morphology. That is to say that once they are put on, they do not tighten the temples or slip on the nose.
- Soft, metal frames with hinges are comfortable and durable for young children.
Note that children don't always want to wear sunglasses. Fortunately, it is always possible to put a hat on them or have them play in the shade when the UV index is high.
Protecting a baby's eyesight with a wide-brimmed hat
A wide-brimmed hat is a simple and effective way to protect your baby's eyes. There are also Saharan caps for children with UV protection to protect the back of the head.
Light-coloured hats and caps are the most comfortable because they retain less heat than dark colours. But be careful not to choose white, which reflects the light too strong and can cause glare in your baby's eyes.
Protect your baby's eyes from the sun in the shade
On clear or cloudy days, UV rays are still present. Generally speaking, the UV index is highest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. This UV index varies on a scale from 0 to 11. When the UV index reaches 3, it is recommended to protect your eyes.
During the peak hours of the day, try to keep your baby in the shade. A pair of sunglasses will also help keep the sun's glare off sand, water and snow from affecting the eyes.
Beyond the risks to your baby's eyes, don't forget that overexposure to the sun will also affect their skin. In addition, regular eye exams are an excellent way to ensure that your baby's vision is developing correctly.