Eye Protection From the Sun Especially Important for Kids

Photo credit:The Wall Street Journal

Are you protecting your child’s eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays? Vision experts say that children’s sunglasses are an important protective measure, particularly because their young eyes are still developing and have a harder time filtering UV light. When young eyes are overexposed to the sun, the damage is cumulative and also permanent.

Optometrist Dawn Hartman, of Columbus Ophthalmology Associates in Ohio, explains: “Everyone buys into what happens to your skin when it comes to sun damage, but many parents are really surprised to learn about the cumulative UV damage to the eyes.”

Granted it can sometimes be tough to get young children to wear them, but ophthalmologist Anne Sumers says that sunglasses with straps can help increase the chance of your child keeping them on. Remember that water and sand reflect UV light, so that’s why it’s particularly important that your child wear sunglasses while at the beach or pool. Also note that the risk of the sun harming the eyes is highest from 8-10 a.m. and 2-4 p.m.

So help your children to avoid cataracts and macular degeneration later in life by getting them into the habit as a youngster of wearing sunglasses for outdoor activities.

Wall Street Journal, 7/7/14

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