Parents Can (and Should) Do More to Protect Their Children’s Eyes from UV Rays

Most parents would never bring their little one to the park on a sunny day without sunscreen. But did you know that you should be protecting your child’s eyes just as much (if not more) than their skin? Most parents don’t!

A child’s eyes are 10 times more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays than their skin, but eye care remains an afterthought for most parents.

How too Much Sun Affects Your Eyes

Long-term exposure to the sun’s UV rays has been connected to some serious eye problems, including eye burn (think a sunburn, but on your eyes — ouch!), cataracts, muscular degeneration, and photokeratitis.

Protecting Your Child’s Eyes

In reality, everyone should be protecting their eyes while outside, but because your eyes don’t fully develop until age 12, children are at an increased risk for sun-related eye damage. Little eyes also tend to have larger pupils and clearer lenses, meaning they’re able to absorb more light (and therefore UV rays) than adult eyes.

The next time you’re at the beach or park, keep your little one’s peepers safe by:

  • Teaching them to never look directly at the sun.
  • Putting a wide-brimmed hat on them.
    • Not only will this protect their eyes, it will also shade their face and neck.
  • Fitting them with sunglasses that offer UV protection.
    • If your child is really little, consider having a band placed around the sunglasses to help keep them in place.
  • Always choosing impact-resistant and shatterproof lenses.
    • Should your little one take a tumble, these lenses won’t shatter and potentially harm their eyes.

Because 1 in 4 children have a vision problem that can potentially cause problems in learning and behavior, it is important to have your child’s eyes checked early. Nearly 80 percent of a child’s learning is through their eyes.

Give your child every opportunity to make learning fun and easy by scheduling their eye exam at Barry Wasserman’s!