Can The Sun Hurt Your Children’s Eyes?

The arrival of summer means that most children are spending more time outdoors. It also means increased exposure to the sun for their eyes. If you want to protect your children's eyes this summer, here is what you need to know.  

How Can the Sun Harm Your Children's Eyes? 

Most parents know that exposure to the sun for prolonged periods of time can be damaging to a child's skin. However, some parents are not aware of the impact the sun can have on a child's eyes. The failure to understand the potential impact can lead to a lifetime of visual problems for a child.  

Prolonged exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can lead to a host of visual problems, including temporary loss of vision, macular degeneration, and an increased risk of developing cataracts.  

Sunlight has a variety of light rays that have varying effects on your children's bodies. The most harmful to their eyes is blue light. Blue light can cause their eyes to be sunburned. Sunburned eyes can lead to temporary vision loss. The eyes have a more difficult time filtering and deflecting blue light, so you will need to take action to protect your children's eyes. 

What Can You Do? 

There are several ways you can protect your children's vision, but one of the easiest is to ensure they all have sunglasses. The right sunglasses can block 100 percent of the harmful ultraviolet rays from your children's eyes. Ideally, your children should start wearing sunglasses at an early age to protect their eyes.  

If any of your children wear prescription eyeglasses, he or she can get a prescription pair of sunglasses to use outdoors. An eye exam with your optometrist can help find the right fit for your child.  

In addition to getting sunglasses, you should have your children wear hats or visors while outdoors. The extra protection can help lessen the chances that harmful light will creep in through exposed areas of the sunglasses.  

Although it might not be entirely possible, try to limit the amount of time your children spend outdoors on particularly sunny days. When outdoors, seek out the shade for them.  

Talk to your optometrist about other ways you can protect your children's vision this summer. He or she can make specific recommendations based on your child's visual health and the climate in your area. He or she can also give you recommendations for your own visual health.