Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Protect Your Child's Eyes from the Winter Sun

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Are you one of those people dreading the cold and hoping that Old Man Winter might just take mercy on us? Well, with the recent “Bomb Cyclone” and frigid below-zero temperatures, winter is definitely here! It’s weather like this that makes me understand why bears hibernate during these cold wintery months. Who wants to be out and about in this weather? Unfortunately, spring is 49 days away and we can’t be like bears so we must venture out in the cold. Read on for why it’s not only important to bundle up from head to toe, but also protect your little one’s eyes!

brown bear hibernating for the winter in the cave, snow outside

Sunglasses Aren’t Just For Summer…

Subzero temps, snow storms, gray overcast skies, big furry parkas are what we typically associate with winter. Kids sunglasses and eye protection are not top of mind unless you and the fam are escaping to the warm, sunny Caribbean. If this is not the case, then this is a big miss and here are the top 5 reasons why your little hipster and mini fashionistas should still rock their stylish kid's sunglasses this frosty season.

sun in the eyes, trying to block it.

Reason 1: The winter sun may be weaker, but this DOES NOT mean your eyes are less susceptible to UV damage.

The truth is even when there are cloud cover and overcast skies, UV rays are still present. In fact, UV rays are present year round. UV rays consist of 3 types and they can wreck some serious damage to your little one’s eyes if not well protected.

UVA:

They represent 95% of the UV rays that make it to earth’s surface. They are the longest of the 3 types of UV rays. While UVA rays are considered to be less intense than UVB they are able to permeate through layers of your skin and cause more long-term damage. UVA is typically known as the culprit for causing skin aging and wrinkling, and in recent studies have now been shown to contribute or even initiate the development of skin cancer. In terms of eye damage, if unprotected, UVA rays can cause damage to a child’s central vision, impacting the macula which is at the back of the retina.

UVB:

The medium length UV ray and Public Enemy #1, UVB rays will give you those blistering sunburns if one is not careful. Unlike UVA, UVB rays are much more intense and tend to damage the upper layers of the skin. UVB can cause skin cancer as well as corneal sunburn.
UVC:
The shortest and most dangerous of the UV rays. Fortunately for us, the ozone layer prevents UVC from ever getting through so this is not an issue. As long as the ozone is intact (hence the importance addressing our ozone depletion and taking steps to combat the greenhouse effect, UVC rays will not reach the Earth’s surface.

 

Reason 2: The winter sun’s position is actually lower in the sky. This means more constant exposure and a greater chance that the sun will be shining directly into your child’s eye.

In the summer, the intensity of the sun is obviously stronger but it is also at a higher position. While it is shining its warm rays directly down on us our brow ridge helps minimize the direct impact of the sun into our eyes. Think of our brow ridge as a naturally built-in shade. During the winter with its lower position, we don’t have the brow ridge to help minimize that impact. Sunglasses are the perfect tool to take over the job of protecting your little one’s eyes.

Blonde girl bundled up eye tearing up because it is so cold

Reason 3: Minimize eye irritation from the cold dry winter air.

Besides the cold, you also have to contend with the harsh winds and cool air that can wreak havoc on your child’s delicate eyes. Ever get so cold that your eyes start tearing up? Trust me, we’ve all been there. In fact, we see this on our little one as he braves the blustery cold so that he can squeeze out a few more minutes on the playground. The human eye needs lubrication to see, and in the cold, dry winter air, it can be very irritating to the eye, specifically the cornea. A simple fix to minimize eye irritation for your little ones during those cold wintery walks is to wear sunglasses. Sunglasses provide a barrier between delicate eyes and whipping winds, preventing dry red eyes in the winter, and will make them feel more comfortable.

Little girl with headache

Reason 4: Improve visibility and reduce eye strain and headaches.

While most adults dread the impending doom of upcoming snowstorms, for kids they are a godsend! School closing, playing out in the snow, and sledding - all the fun that comes along with all that white fluffy stuff. Snow is all fun and games but have you tried staring at fresh white powdery snow after a snow storm, the sharp reflection of the light can be quite blinding. With all that glare from the snow comes the possibility of snow blindness. According to the World Health Organization – fresh snow can reflect up to 80% of UV rays. When playing in the snow, the glare and bright reflection can cause significant eye strain and cause eye discomfort for kids. Wearing polarized sunglasses can ensure that they have improved visibility and reduced eyestrain and headaches.

 

Reason 5: Looking stylish while bundled up.

Between puffy snow jackets and chunky scarves, sometimes it can be tough trying to make your little one look stylish while staying warm. Why not add a little pizzaz and spruce up their winter, frost- fighting outfit with a colorful and stylish sunglasses. A little necessary accessory like winter sunglasses can go a long way! Check out our full collection and find the perfect shade so your nugget can step out in style.