The harmful rays of the sun can be dangerous to your tyke’s scalp, skin and eyes. Using the right protection will help keep them safe and protected.

Moab is filled with sunny days no matter the season so wearing a sun hat and sunglasses year round is important.

I often see tykes wearing a sun hat but what I see missing a lot from young tykes is eye protection. I’ll see Mom and Dad sporting sunglasses but not their tyke.

The suns rays can reflect off water, the ground, snow and playground equipment in which it will penetrate directly in your tyke’s eyes if they aren’t protected.

Protecting your tyke’s eyes at an early age will help decrease the risk of cataracts and other eye problems in adulthood, as well as, begin a habit of eye protection for life.

There are so many brands of infant, toddler and kids sunglasses that it is hard to know which ones will protect your tyke’s eyes and which ones are just for fashion.

Here’s what you should know:

• Choose a pair of sunglasses that have 100% UV-A/UV-B protection.

• Make sure the sunglasses cover your tyke’s eyes completely.

• The shade of the tint is not what adds protection. The UV protection comes from a chemical applied to the lenses. It’s a personal preference if your tyke likes a light, medium or dark tint.

• Polarized lenses are an option and for a lot of adults it is a preference. I prefer polarized lenses myself, which reduces glare. Your tyke may not know the difference. Polarized lenses come with a higher price tag.

• Replace sunglasses once the lenses become scratched.

• Choose polycarbonate lenses (high-impact resistance) if your child will be wearing the sunglasses while playing sports.

Be aware that toy or fashion sunglasses can actually do more harm to your tykes eyes than not wearing sunglasses at all. Shaded lenses without protection will relax pupils, causing them to dilate and let more harmful radiation into your tykes eyes. It’s crucial that your tykes sunglasses have 100 percent A/UV-B protection.

Our son has been wearing sunglasses and a sun hat since he was three months old. Now

at the age of three he doesn’t leave home with out them.

I often get asked how we manage to keep sunglasses and a sun hat on our son.

Here are some tips:

Start them young. I think because we started our son so young with wearing them it is second nature when he is outside.

Make sure the sunglasses fit properly. Also, the sunglasses with an elastic strap that goes around the head helps keep them on. If the strap is a little big, strap it around the outside of the hat. That helps it stay on better.

Make sure the sun hat is not too tight and finding one with an elastic back allows for some give making it more comfortable and allowing for some growth.

The sun hats with a flap in the back provides great coverage protecting the nape of the neck and ears or find a hat that has a big wide brim, the more coverage the better.

Using distractions while putting on the sunglasses or sun hat can help.You may also want to try repeatedly distracting them if they keep trying to take them off, as well as a firm no.

Be consistent. Every time you go outside put the hat and sunglasses on, even if it is just a short trip to the mailbox or the store. They will learn that outside coincides with sunglasses and a sun hat.

Monkey see monkey do…show them that you wear sunglasses and a sun hat, too.

If your tyke is older have them make the choice of the sunglasses and sun hat they will be wearing. If they like them and picked them out themselves then you will probably have a better chance of them wearing them.

Remember, proper sun protection is year round here in Moab, not just in our hot summer months.