UV rays can damage the eyes of babies and children, experts advise.
They recommend that all youngsters under the age of 10 should wear sunglasses in strong sunshine.
But don’t be tempted to pick up a cheapo pair - your child needs to wear sunglasses with lenses that block out 99 per cent or more of the sun’s UV rays.
Always check the label for the CE mark to show that they are made to an agreed European standard. Look out too for the British standard for sunglasses BSEN 1836:1997.
Why are babies' eyes at risk?
The cornea, lens and fluids are clearer in a child’s eye than in an adult’s. This allows more short wavelength light to reach the retina, which can lead to cataracts in later life.
Estimates vary, but it is thought that between 60 and 80 percent of sun exposure takes place prior to the age of 18.
Children and teenagers are particularly susceptible to the sun's damaging rays because they typically spend more time outdoors than adults.
In response to warnings about sun damage to young eyes, Vision Express is offering a free pair of prescription sunglasses with all prescription glasses sales from their £20 range or above. The offer applies to children under the age of 16 (or 18 if in full-time education).
The Vision Express initiative has the support of the RNIB.
Sonal Rughani, Senior Service Advisor for RNIB, says, 'A substantial amount of our exposure to sunlight occurs when we are children.
As the leading charity committed to preventing avoidable sight loss, we encourage children to look after their eyes, as excessive exposure to sunlight can potentially damage the eyes and may contribute to the onset of other eye-related conditions such as AMD and cataracts.
'Sunglasses with proper UV protection can make a positive contribution to eye protection in the young.'