The Importance of Protecting Children’s Eyes from the Sun

Small girl playing with colors

 

Many moms, dads, and caretakers out there realize the importance of applying sunscreen to the little ones in our care prior to outdoor activities, but an area of the body that does not receive as much attention when it comes to sun safety is the eye. UV rays are just as harmful to the eye as they are the skin, and some examples of the importance of eye safety from sun damage are outlined below.

It is said that the sun is 92.96 million miles from the earth. It is amazing that something such a lengthy distance from where we live can have such an impact on health, but it does. The sun has been linked to many skin-related issues that can be as serious as cancer development, and, now, the sun is known to have similar effects on eyes. This is especially true in children as adolescents have larger pupils and clearer lenses than adults, which means a child receives three times the UV ray exposure as an adult, according to the Vision Center 4 Kids website.

Other than protection from the increased exposure that children face, measures taken in adolescence lessen the risk for long term damage that ultimately causes serious eye conditions later in life as a result of UV radiation. Some of these conditions include macular degeneration, cataracts, choroidal melanoma, and even corneal cancer.

The best way to combat damaging UV rays when it comes to the eye is to wear sunglasses. Not just any pair will do, though. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends purchasing sunglasses that wrap around the head to block as close to 100% of rays as possible for children. The more coverage, the better.

Sunglasses are no longer just an accessory; they are an essential part of any wardrobe. Preventative protection is the key to living a visually competent life in the long run. In fact, the Vision Center 4 Kids refers to sunglasses as the “sunscreen for the eyes” and sunscreen has become an integral part of any outdoor activity. Sunglasses are just as important and should be thought of as such.