There’s been a recent push in Australia to add sunglasses to children’s school uniforms in order to increase sun protection. Known for its Slip Slop Slap campaign slogan, Australia is no stranger to educating both parents and kids on the importance of UV protection. And in neighboring New Zealand, Visque’s (a network of independent optometrists) Back to School campaign for 2012 is offering free sunglasses to five-year-old new entrants in 660 schools across the country for the eighth year in a row. This isn’t about free sunglasses but about educating up to 175,000 students, 350,000 parents, and more than 6,600 teachers about the importance of vision care and how it can impact the academic process.
Not all parents fully understand the damage that UV can do to children’s eyes, or else they wouldn’t let them out the door without wearing sunglasses in addition to sunscreen. Part of the problem may be the lack of knowledge on just how harmful UV is to the eyes during the first 18 years of one’s life. But if such campaigns are actually successful in other countries, there’s no reason why we can’t take on the initiative to do the same here in the U.S.
As a retailer, do your part by offering kids’ sunglass collections. Educate your customers on why they should consider investing in protecting their children’s sight. Be creative and try to catch the eyes of the little ones who walk into your store. Do as much as possible to promote children’s sunwear by not only stocking it but also committing to marketing it.
Together, we can all make a difference. Every effort helps, so why not consider joining the cause? It’s good and necessary for kids’ eyes—and the fact that it’s profitable for you is an added bonus.