Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash
More than half of UK parents believe sunglasses should become an official part of school uniform, a study has found.
A study of 1,000 parents with children aged 4-12 found 72 percent worried about protecting their child’s eyes from the sun.
However, only three in 10 sent their child to school with sunglasses every time it was sunny.
One-quarter even said their child was forbidden by their school from wearing sunglasses on school grounds.
A spokesperson for Monkey Monkey Sunglasses, which commissioned the study, said: “Parents are consistently telling us that their children are more likely to wear sunglasses on holiday or to leisure activities than at school.
"We just want parents to be aware that the midday and afternoon sun can be equally strong in the school playground, on the school sports field, or on the walk home from school, as it is on the beach.
"Wearing hats and staying in the shade during these times help reduce UV exposure, but are not a substitute for wearing sunglasses with full UVA and UVB protection, because UV rays reflect through cloud cover and reflect off a variety of surfaces.”
Researchers also found only 16 percent of those polled said their children always wear sunglasses on a sunny day and one in four said their child does not currently own a pair of sunglasses.
Parents of children who rarely or never wear sunglasses said their kids find them uncomfortable to wear and avoid them if they can.
However, 57 percent who have bought their children sunglasses checked the glasses for their UV protection rating before making the purchase.
When asked about their knowledge surrounding surfaces which reflect and increase UV radiation, 61 percent of parents who took part in the study, correctly said that snow reflected UV rays.
One in four identified concrete surfaces and 56 percent pointed to water as a key reflector of UV rays.
Monkey Monkey's spokesperson added: “Estimates suggest that up to 80 percent of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV is received before the age of 18, when children’s eyes are also not yet fully developed.
"For these two reasons it is vital to protect young eyes from sun exposure at an early age.”