There is evidence to indicate that protecting the eyes from ultraviolet radiation may prevent the development of cataracts.  The recent amendments to the California Education Code do not specifically include sunglasses, yet they are an important component of personal sun safety.

You’ll  put your eye out, kid!

Many schools discourage or do not allow students to wear sunglasses.  Administrators have voiced a variety of negative opinions, such as “they might break,”  “they might cause an injury,” “kids will lose them.”  Yet, many children with vision impairment routinely wear their corrective lenses on the playground so it is difficult to fully justify these reservations.  With a health benefit attributable to wearing sunglasses, is it in children’s best interest to prohibit them?

Nurture informed decision-making

Parents and students can make their own informed decision after weighing the potential benefit against the cost and possible danger associated with wearing sunglasses.  Develop a plan to inform parents and students that sunglasses are allowed and, while disclaiming liability, provide tips on sunglasses safety.  For example, the lenses should provide 100% protection against UVA and UVB, and a sports band will help to hold them onto the head.



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