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Should Sunglasses be Higher on the School Agenda?

UK parents are concerned about the dangers of UV. A recent poll of 1,000 mums and dads with children aged 4-12 showed that over half (54%) wanted sunglasses to become an official part of the school uniform.

NICE guidance[1] recommends schools adopt a Sun Safety Policy and share advice on UV protection with parents, but new research shows two fifths of parents (40%) questioned within the poll have no idea whether their child’s school even has such a policy.

Around a quarter of those parents (23%) even claim their child’s school does not allow them to wear sunglasses on school grounds.

There is still unawareness among parents, with nearly one in five (17%) of the 1,000 parents questioned claiming they don’t think it’s ever sunny enough to warrant sunglasses in the UK.

Even when the sun isn’t shining, UV rays are still present and doing damage, which is why children’s sunglasses brand monkey monkey is raising awareness of the importance of protecting children’s eyes, as well as their skin, all year round.

The charity Eye Health UK warns even with all the sun protection kids already use, without sunglasses kids’ eyes are still at risk.

Eye protection from the sun can be achieved with sunglasses that are wraparound lenses or wide arms (to provide side protection) that have the CE Mark (an indication that they meet the relevant European Standard[2]).

To mark National Sunglasses Day on Thursday 27th June, monkey monkey and Eye Health UK are encouraging parents and schools to become more aware of the risks the sun poses to young eyes.




  1. Protect your eyes whenever the UV Index rises to three or more. Visit the Met Office or BBC Weather websites for information on UV levels.


  1. Make sure your eyes and the area around your eyes is fully covered. Large lenses and wrap-around styles provide the greatest protection.


  1. Wear sunglasses with a CE; UV 400 or British Standard Mark as this ensures they provide adequate UV protection.


  1. Never wear toy sunglasses. These offer little UV protection and can actually cause more damage because the tinted lenses dilate the pupil allowing more UV to enter the eye.


  1. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, check your lenses provide UV protection.


  1. Wear a hat, cap or visor for added protection.


  1. Sit or play in the shade.


  1. Stay out of the sun between 12pm and 3pm when the sun’s rays are strongest. Up to 50% of the total daily UV is emitted between these times!


  1. Never look directly at the sun.


  1. Remember the shadow rule... If your shadow is taller than you are your eyes are at greatest risk from UV exposure as your brow bone no longer offers natural protection.


[1] https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng34/chapter/implementation#implementation

[2] https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng34/chapter/implementation#implementation


*Research of 1,000 UK parents with children aged 4-12 conducted by OnePoll in June 2019.


Published  : 27 June 2019