During the start of sunny days in spring and long, hot summer months, we parents slather our children in sunscreen and fill their beach bags with hats, umbrellas and long-sleeved shirts in an ongoing effort to protect them from the sun's harmful rays. But many parents are forgetting a key weapon in their arsenal -- sunglasses. Ongoing, unchecked exposure to the sun can cause severe eye discoloration as our children grow older, which can be painful and lead to a decrease in confidence and quality of life.
Save your skin from the sun
A reminder on how, when and why to use sunscreen this summer
As the days grow longer, warmer and sunnier, many of us will begin reaching for the sunscreen to help protect our skin as we go about our outdoor activities.
But how much do you really know about the differences between brands and SPFs? Do you know how much sunscreen you should apply, and how often you should apply it?
We all need some sun exposure; it's our primary source of vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium for stronger, healthier bones. But it doesn't take much time in the sun for most people to get the vitamin D they need, and repeated unprotected exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can cause skin damage, eye damage, immune system suppression, and skin cancer. Even people in their twenties can develop skin cancer.
Sunglasses test shows expensive lenses aren't always best
It started on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Sure, film stars and the very rich had already been wearing dark spectacles. But in 1929, Sam Foster, founder of Foster Grant, began hawking his mass-produced sunglasses there at a Woolworth store — eye protection and a stylish air of mystery for the everyman.
Today you can get sunglasses really cheap — three pairs for $12 recently at a Scarborough flea market. Or you can fork over $1,000 for a single pair studded with Swarovski crystals at a downtown eyewear boutique. And there's every style — iconic aviators, retro cat eyes, sleek sporty shades and glamorous Jackie O look-alikes — at every price in between available at every dollar, drug or department store. Not to mention at opticians, optometrists and online.
So what should you look for? What do you get for your money? To answer that, the Star had a selection of nine pairs of sunglasses, from a $4 pair to a $488 designer-brand, tested by an optometrist — with some surprising results.