Should your baby wear sunglasses at age 3 months? Some eyecare specialists say yes. Others say to wait till the child is 3 or 4 years old.
Are you tired of people telling you that your baby should wear sunglasses? Have you been “assisted” in making decisions? Do you still have questions about what is best?
With all the resources we have, it is often good to look at who is offering the suggestions. Does someone have a monetary gain from your baby wearing sunglasses? Let’s apply some plain old common sense to this question.
I think that caution should be used when exposing your baby’s eyes to the direct sun. Using some caution with your new infant is important. Their skin is not yet mature enough to be exposed to the sun over a very few limited minutes at a time.
Even then, caution should be taken to keep the direct sun out of our baby’s eyes. General caution about sun exposure should be your guide.
Are you paying attention to how long the sun is shining on your baby’s skin? 5-minutes of exposure to the sun before 10 AM should be safe, but no longer until they are older.
What About Indirect Sun
The indirect sun is also OK for short periods of time. Are you making sure to keep your little one’s stroller turned away from the sun? These are all common sense things that keep their eyes safe, as well as their skin.
If you are planning time at the beach with your baby, make sure you have shade to take with you, so that you can keep them from the direct sun.
Since our skin really isn’t mature until we reach our early 20s, those early-life sunburns are damaging your skin more than you realize. Yes, learning about the sun damage we did so many years ago is disturbing. Don’t allow any more damage.
A Child And Family Eye Care Suggests:
Child & Family Eye Care 7025 Farm to Market Road 1488
Magnolia, TX 77354 says:
“Babies should start wearing sunglasses at 6 months. Younger than that, infants should be kept out of the sun as much as possible.
During these crucial months, every time you take your baby outside, shield them from the sun with clothing and hats. Don’t forget a cover for your stroller.
This eye ware company sells all kinds of eyewear for the family.
They also offer this list of suggestions when shopping for sunglasses for your child.
“What to look for when you choose a pair of sunglasses for your baby”:
- Choose 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays.
- Important to choose impact-proof lenses made of durable polycarbonate that will bend but not break.
- You should also choose wraparound sunglasses that will stay on your baby’s head.
Ok, this seems like sound advice. However, what sounds even better is to keep the infant out of the sun. Even at 6 months old, they are so young.
This is a bit of information from a health care company.
Mayo Health Center Services
Mayo Health Center suggests that children spend a lot of time outside while they are young. There is recess time, then sports and then their play time as they are growing up. Sports start pretty young as well.
You are probably aware that some care for their skin is important, like sunscreen or covering their skin with clothing.
But what about protecting their eyes? Do children need to wear sunglasses?
Most children receive more sun exposure than adults. This extra exposure to sunlight increases the risk of eye damage from ultraviolet or UV light.
This invisible electromagnetic radiation is emitted by the sun. Unlike your adult eyes, children’s eyes are still maturing. They can’t filter out the dangerous UV rays as well asadults can.
Little Ones Eyes Are Sensitive
Then there is the skin around your children’s eyelids and under their eyes. It is much more delicate than your’s.
Damage that leads to skin cancer builds up over time, and when you start very young with sunburned skin under your eyes, you may be looking at skin cancer in this area as a young adult. Do you want to set your youngster up for skin cancer early in life?
They have suggestions that seem to relate to the kids a bit older than 6 months. So, yes, they also think that if kids are going to be out in the direct sunlight for more than a few short minutes, they should wear sunglasses.
They also suggest sunglasses on cloudy days to protect agnest the UV rays.
Childrens Primary Care Group
Then, With more than 20 pediatric offices conveniently located throughout San Diego County and southern Riverside, Children’s Primary Care Group shares much the same information without clear guidelines for an age beyond the 6 month of age.
So it seems there is an agreement about when to start putting sunglasses on your child at about 6 months old.
Actually, I notice a strong message that your younger kids should not be out in the sun. Their skin isn’t mature until they re in their 20s. That leaves lots of time for parents to keep their own guidelines.
Step up and help your child learn sensible skin protection from the sun. Set some guidelines for reasonable times in the sun. Both the time of day to be in the sun, as well as the length of time to be in the sun. Your kids will find your guidelines easier if you are being sensible about your own skin exposure.
The same is true for sunglasses. If you wear your sunglasses, your youngster will be more willing to wear their sunglasses.
Can Sun Blocking Hats Help
If your toddler is being difficult about their sunglasses, have them wear a sun had with a brim. This is also an important part of keeping your child protected from the sun. Sunglasses and hat are preferable, but a hat is good when they are young. Sunglasses will be easier when the child is a bit older.
Be aware and teach your toddler to never look right at the sun. They should be playing in a shaded area under trees, or an umbrella or a canopie. Your children should avoid the direct sun between 10 AM and 4 PM. This time exclusion is important to keep your kids safe from too much sun.
Summary Of The Age To Start Wearing Sunglasses
While the internet is full of information about what to do, or what not to do, the credintentals often fall to the one with something to sell. That is what I see with this question of when babies should start wearing sunglasses.
It seems that after the age of 6 months, a baby is allowed in the sun. At this point, age 6 months, the sunglasses are recommended. However, checking the information again, just because the infant is able to tolerate more sun, that does not mean the baby should be in the sun long enough for sunglasses.
It would be better to be more careful with the time of day you have you youngster out. Keep your children in out of the midday direct sun. This is something that will benefit you as well. Being out in the sunlight before 10 AM or after 4 PM will give you all the vitamin D you need.
Wearing sun blocking clothing is another way to keep your baby safe from the sun. Sun blocking clothing including a sun hat will help your child safe from sunburn. Wearing sunscreen where you aren’t covered with sun blocking clothing is measure for your young child, but not until they are 6 months old.
Most medical sites recommend mineral sunscreen, not chemical ones. Some list 6 months old as the time that you can use sunscreen, some say 1 year old. You are the parent, and should make the best decision for your child.
Sami’s Take On Should Your Baby Wear Sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses is important to protecting your eyes from the sun. However, it is often a challenge to keep a baby in sunglasses. Then to keep them placed properly on their faces, as well as keeping the lense clean.
It seems that it would be easier to pay attention to the time of day, and keep your little ones in when the sun is most dangerous.
You toddler will have their trying times with sunglasses, but at least toddlers are more subject to modeling your behaviour. Know the effort required. Choose your battles and go for the easy wins.
Wearing a soft sun hat to shade your child’s eyes if they have to be out in the sun is easier. Finding a way to keep your child covered and out of the sun is a good goal.
Sunglasses are good tools, but your child may have some difficulties leaving them alone. Keeping them clean and in place is often easier said than done. Most kids will wear them long enough for a snapshot, but for play time is another thing.
Have a back up plan-
Do you have suggestions to share for getting little ones to wear sunglasses? We are learning how to keep the little ones protected from the sun.
Please leave your suggestions in the comment box below,
Thanks for reading,
Sami, learning to be safe from the sun.