Summer is the best time of year for kids. They love the warm weather and all the fun activities it brings. However, it is very important to take steps to protect your children’s eyes during the summer months. During the summer, children are spending more time outdoors. Children are very susceptible to the damaging sunrays. The lenses of their eyes are more transparent that adults, creating the danger of allowing more UV radiation to reach the retinas. So how do you keep your children’s eyes protected, while still letting them have fun in the sun?
The sun gives off three types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA-A, UV-B, and UV-C. The ozone layer effectively absorbs the UV-C radiation, while sunglasses can protect eyes from UV-A and UV-B. Long-term exposure to these rays can lead to cataracts, benign growths, retinal problems, cancer around the skin of the eyes, and photokeratitis (a temporary sunburn of the surface of the eye). Your children should wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection. Choose sunglasses that:
- Block 99% to 100% of the UV radiation
- Screens out 75% to 90% of visible light. Be aware that fashion lenses usually do not meet this requirement.
- Be free of distortion and imperfections.
- Have green, brown, or gray lenses.
Wear a Hat
Wearing a hat, along with sunglasses will offer additional protection from the sun. Also know that UV radiation is present even during cloudy or overcast days and the sun’s rays can go through those clouds. In addition, the sun’s rays are strongest during the middle part of the day, so if you can, have your children stay inside during these hours. However, make sure your children are wearing their sunglasses and hats if they will be outside during these hours.
Use Eye Protection During Sporting Activities
Summer is a time when children are playing sports. It is important to keep your children’s eyes protected when engaging in sports. Find the appropriate eye gear for the sport that your child will be playing to protect their eyes from possible injuries.
Avoid Chemicals and Other Irritants
Children love frolicking in the pool during those warm summer months. However, you should ensure that they don’t spend too much time being exposed to the chemicals, such as chlorine used in pools.
With these few simple steps, you can help ensure that your children’s eyes remain protected and healthy.
Dr. Ron Rosa has been an Optometrist in Encinitas, CA for over 25 years providing care for all of North County San Diego. Dr. Rosa’s practice offers all areas of vision services from eye exams, laser refractive surgery, advanced conditions and treatment of infections and eye complications, contact lenses, and prescription glasses/sunglasses sales.