Children’s eyes and the sun

The sun is as much a threat to your children’s eyes as it is to their skin – yet many parents don’t consider eye protection from harmful UV rays. The ultraviolet rays of the sun are damaging to all the layers of the eye as you go from the front to the back. Cancer of the eyelid, cataracts and macular degeneration are among the eye problems caused or aggravated by too much UV exposure.

Children’s eyes are more susceptible because the lenses inside their eyes don’t block as much UV as adult lenses do. Children also tend to spend more time outdoors than their parents, and most UV eye damage is cumulative. That means the more time a child’s eyes are exposed to harmful UV rays, the more likely they’ll suffer vision problems in the future.

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Protecting children’s eyes from harmful UV rays

The younger you are that you start the habit of protecting your eyes from the rays of the sun, the healthier your eyes are going to be.

Parents go to great lengths to protect their children’s skin from UV rays, covering them with high factor creams and insisting that they wear head protection, yet they rarely consider sunglasses to protect the eyes.

Not only are children outside more than adults, youngsters tend to spend a lot of time in places where there is a lot of sun reflection — beaches, pools and amusement parks. The reflected sun and light from reflective surfaces gives children a double dose of harmful rays of light. Surprisingly, sand reflects much more UV than water – about 12x!

Ideal eyewear recommends that you protect your child’s eyes either with 100% UV-absorbing sunglasses or, if they wear glasses with a prescription ask our dispensing optician for advice about the many protective coatings or lenses that are available.

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