How to protect your child’s eyes from UV rays

baby on a beach on holiday
Credit: iStock

In this hot weather, the strong UV rays from the sun can do lasting damage to your child’s eyes

Sure, we all know about the importance of sun cream on a sunny day, but what about the eyes? A child’s eyes do not fully develop a natural lens protection until the age of 12, leaving them up to 10x more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays than the skin. Significant damage can cause eyeburn, maculuar degeneration, cataracts later in life and photo keratitis, which can cause temporary vision loss.

READ MORE: How to protect your baby in the sun

In an effort to raise awareness, The Met Office has partnered with Boots to warn of the dangers of UV rays and to ensure parents give their children the right eye protection. Almost a quarter of parents admit they could be doing more to protect their kids’ eyes from UV – only 32% prioritise packing sunglasses on a sunny day out.

Here’s how you can make sure that your child’s eyes are protected in this hot, sunny weather:

Check the UV forecast

The Met Office is encouraging parents to use their app to check for hourly updates on the UV forecast. UV can be strong even on a cloudy day, so be sure to check before you head out if you need to bring along protection.

Never look at the sun

It goes without saying that looking directly at the sun can cause irreversible damage to your eyesight and can even lead to blindness. Make sure children know the dangers!


When you’re shopping for sunglasses, make sure they offer 100% UV protection and carry the CE kite mark. They needn’t be expensive, but don’t automatically assume all models give the same protection – they don’t! Boots Opticians can help you pick out the perfect pair for your little one.


Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can further protect your eyes from damage, as well as the delicate skin on the face and neck.

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