Sunglasses are an indispensable accessory for protection against the sun.
Remember, UVA rays are very dangerous for children’s eyes as their lenses can only partially filter the sun’s rays. In infants, 90% of UVA rays reach the retina. UVB rays are also dangerous for adults as their eyes filter only 80% (much less with children).
When choosing your sunglasses, be very wary if there is no mention of UV filtration quality. Start by checking whether the CE logo is mentioned. This European UV protection standard ensures that the sunglasses will not allow more than 5% of the UVB rays to pass.
Be sure to choose sunglasses which clearly mention to which category they belong:
- Category 0: these glasses absorb up to 20% of light: for use in winter only.
- Category 1: these glasses block between 20% and 57% of light: for use in dull weather.
- Category 2: these glasses block between 57% and 82% of the light: for use on sunny days in town .
- Category 3: these glasses filter between 82% and 92% of solar luminosity. This is the ideal choice for summer.
- Category 4: these glasses are not suitable for driving because they absorb between 92% and 97% of the light: only suitable for wear in exceptionally bright conditions (sea and mountain).
From preference, chose glasses with large frames which cover eyes and eyelids (right up to the eyebrows), and are enclosed at the sides. The glasses should fit close to the face.
Glasses which filter blue light are also available and help prevent ageing of the retina.
Ideally, choose polarizing glasses (which prevent reflection of light from shiny surfaces and provide more contrast in the field of vision).
Buy sunglasses which are sold with an instruction leaflet specifying the name and address of the manufacturer and/or his authorized representative in EU countries.
Be even more vigilant with children as, since their eyes are much more sensitive (see the chapter on ‘Clarifications’), and also with pregnant women (see the chapter on ‘Pregnancy’).
A sunhat is essential together with sun cream and sunglasses.
We recommend hats with wide brims which protect the face, neck and ears.