Protect your child’s eyes this summer

Children often spend more time outdoors than adults. And children are at special risk from the harmful effects of UV rays, since their eyes do not have the same ability as adults to protect from UV radiation.

Over time, the effects of sunlight may damage your child’s eyes and cause a number of eye problems later in life. Long-term exposure to UV rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration or skin cancer around the eyelids.

When outdoors, make sure your child wears eyewear that absorbs UV rays and a brimmed hat or cap. A wide brimmed hat or cap will block about half of UV rays. A brimmed hat or cap can also limit UV rays that hit the eyes from above or around glasses.

All types of eyewear, including prescription and non-prescription glasses, contact lenses and lens implants, should absorb UV-A and UV-B rays. For UV protection in everyday eyewear, there are several options like UV-blocking lens materials, coatings and photochromic lenses. UV protection does not cost a lot of money and does not get in the way of seeing clearly.

Sunglasses help your child in two important ways. They filter light and they protect his or her eyes from damaging UV rays.

“Sunglasses makers do not always attach a tag or label stating the amount of UV radiation that sunglasses block. Only buy sunglasses for your child that provide a clear statement about how much UV radiation is blocked.”

Read the labels! Always read labels carefully and look for labels that clearly state the sunglasses block 99 to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays.


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