Getting Your Toddler to Wear Sunglasses

Mother holds baby wearing sunglasses and a sun hat
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Your young child's eyes are susceptible to irritation from the sun's damaging rays. To protect against problems now and later in life, it's up to you to take the necessary steps to protect their eyes from the damaging effects of the sun. Teaching your toddler smart sun sense when she is young will help keep her protected from the sun’s harsh glare for the rest of her life. But how do you keep sunglasses on a squirmy toddler?

Tips for Toddlers

  • Take your toddler "sunglasses shopping" and let him pick out his own pair of sunglasses. Buy good quality, wraparound sunglasses for children, as soon as they can wear them. Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive brands, but toy sunglasses can do more harm than good. Toy shades simply darken the eye area and enlarge the pupils, allowing more damaging light to reach the inside of the eye. Choose a pair that is labeled "100 percent UV filtration" for the best protection.
  • Set a good example. Wear sunglasses yourself, and your child will learn to imitate you. Tell your child that sunglasses are to be worn outside. Put them on before going outdoors, and take them off as soon as you go back inside. Your child will soon make a habit of slipping on his sunglasses whenever he goes outside.
  • If your toddler is reluctant to wear sunglasses, encourage her to wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade her eyes. The wider the brim, the more her eyes, as well as her skin, will be shaded from the sun.
  • Teach your toddler never to look directly at the sun. Try to keep your children in the shade: under trees, umbrellas or canopies.

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