Sunglasses don’t just make you look cool, they’re also good for your eyes. But a lot of parents don’t seem to know that rule also applies to their kids.

Research done by the Vision Council found that while three-quarters of adults regularly wear sunglasses, only about half make their kids wear them, too. And California ophthalmologist Paul Michelson says that should change.

“A substantial proportion of people still do not understand that UV exposure is harmful to the eyes as well as the skin,” he said. “Even [in] those who do understand, few understand it is the cumulative exposure that can be damaging.”

Among adults, the top three reasons given for not wearing sunglasses were that they forgot them at home, they break or lose them too often, and they don’t believe their eyes are at risk from sun exposure.

People with light-colored eyes are more susceptible to UV damage than people with brown eyes, but the risks for everyone include cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and cancer of the eye, eyelid or surrounding skin.


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