Through the eyes of a child – protecting your child's eyes in the sun.
Summer means lots of fun in the sun for school-age children. But did you know that bright sunlight can actually harm a child's eyes? Ultraviolet – or UV–rays cause our skin to burn more easily in the summer. This can also happen to children's eyes. UV rays are invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. UV rays can burn the eyes, hair and skin if these parts of the body are not well protected.
According to Dr. Mark Borchert at The Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, this is harmful. It may put children at risk for other eye diseases as adults. Many parents know to protect their children's skin from the sun. But they do not know that it is important to protect a child's eyes as well. If it is bright enough for you to wear sunglasses outside, your child should be wearing them too. In fact 70% more UV rays reach a child's eyes than an adult's, says Dr. Borchert. For that reason, the American Optometric Association says everyone should wear good sunglasses that block UV rays. A hat also helps when your child is in the sun for a long time.
Make sure your kids wear sunglasses.
Almost half of the entire time we spend outdoors in our lives happens before 12 years of age. So it is really important to protect your child's eyes at an early age.
You can buy sunglasses for children at many stores. Make sure they are rated to block both UVA and UVB rays. All sunglasses block UVB, but some do not block UVA rays. UVA rays can hurt the part of a child's eyes called the retina. The retina is a layer at the back of the eyeball that is sensitive to light. Look for glasses without a glass lens. Children under six may need a pair of glasses with straps to keep them in place.
Have a great summer - play it safe!
Summer offers so many ways for children to enjoy being in the sun. Just don't forget the shades!