Do Children Need Sunglasses?

The short answer to that question is a resounding YES. However, it is extremely important to know the reasons that something is a good idea, especially in regard to a health matter.

Do Children Need Sunglasses? in Olympia

The Dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation Exposure

Too much time outdoors without proper eye protection is risky for adults & children alike. Even on cloudy days, UVA and UVB rays make it down to ground level and can reach our vulnerable eyes. Too much UVB exposure can lead to photokeratitis (“sunburn of the eye” or snow-blindness), pinguecula (benign growths in the eye), and pterygium (another type of non-cancerous growth in the eye), and too much UVA exposure can lead to conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Depending on where you are outdoors, and what the conditions are, your level of exposure will be higher or lower (with snow, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, being the most dangerous as it reflects large amounts of UV rays which otherwise might’ve just hit the ground back into your eyes.

American Family Vision Clinic

Damage is Cumulative, and it Starts Early

Since the eye’s lens cannot repair itself, damage to the eye accumulates over time. And, because children tend to spend more time outside (and unprotected), when compared to adults, as much as 80% of lifetime damage from UV rays can be accumulated by the age of 18! 

Children are More at Risk

The lenses of children’s eyes are less developed than those of adults, and consequently, they are less effective at stopping UV rays. Children also tend to look up more than adults, giving more opportunity for higher levels of UV rays to enter their eyes, and they are less likely to notice if their eyes are becoming sunburnt.

Children are More at Risk
Not Worth the Risk

Not Worth the Risk

Acquiring effective eye protection for your kids, and educating them on why they should wear it, is not a particularly costly or time-intensive endeavor, and it can have a huge impact, especially later in life.

Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Do children need sunglasses? Yes, they do. Learn more about the dangers of UV light, and why it’s important for children to wear sunglasses outdoors. Contact us to make an appointment with our optometrist, who will help guide you through the process.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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