Q: Is it important for my baby to wear sunglasses?

A: Sunglasses will help shield your baby's eyes from the sun's strong UV rays, which can protect his sensitive eyes from developing problems like cataracts and macular degeneration (a disintegration of the retina) down the road. However, most pediatricians and moms would say good luck keeping them on! Sunglasses on a baby are not terribly practical unless your baby is extraordinarily cooperative; most will pull them off and play with them the first chance they get. Instead, try a wide-brimmed hat to protect your baby's eyes, face, and shoulders. If you do want to give sunglasses a whirl, be sure you buy a pair that blocks 99 percent of UV rays, and that has break-resistant frames and lenses (more likely than not, they're going to end up on the ground). Styles that have an elastic head strap are a good option, since the band may make it harder for your baby to yank them off.

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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