SUNGLASSES & KIDS

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A trip to Disneyland in California last month revealed something quite commonplace: Many adults wore sunglasses, but very few kids did so.

I’ve heard many excuses from parents who have tried to get their children to wear sunglasses. I experienced the same issues with my own kids. Their children, they complain, usually refuse to wear sunglasses because they are uncomfortable, fit poorly and aren’t cool.

Parents often purchase plano sunwear for their children while traveling on vacation or at drug stores. Cost doesn’t seem to be near the top of the list for many parents who willingly make sacrifices to protect their children’s well being. Rather, they aren’t aware of the importance of starting early in childhood to protect the eyes and skin from UV exposure, the effects of which accumulate over a lifetime.

Perhaps it’s time for each practice to offer comfortable, safe and quality plano sunwear for children.

The Vision Council made June 27 a commemorative date to celebrate National Sunglasses Day. In 2016, National Sunglasses Day resulted in more than 500 million media impressions, becoming an official trending topic on social media. That viral success increased to more than 644 million broadcast, online and social media impressions in 2017.

The council’s message stresses the importance of wearing sunwear to protect the eyes from the sun’s harsh UV rays. This is a good start.

Industry statistics show that optometric practices account for a minority of plano sunwear sales in the U.S. Perhaps it’s time for each practice to offer comfortable, safe and quality plano sunwear for children. Out of 500 frames in an optical dispensary, it shouldn’t be that difficult to include 10 to 15 pairs of sunglasses for children. After all, if they don’t get this message from their eyecare provider, who will they learn it from?

Richard Clompus, OD, FAAO | Professional Editor | RC@OptometricOffice.com

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