August is Children’s Eye Safety and Health Month, so we thought this would be an opportune time to share some tips with you on how to keep your children’s eyes safe in the sun. (These tips work well for adults, too!)
Shielding your eyes from the sun is important because the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase your risk of skin cancer around the eyelids, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Here’s how to minimize your risk while still enjoying the sun.
- Choose the best ray blockers. Remember that sunglasses should block out 99 to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. UV protection details should be listed on product labels.
- Pick wraparound styles. This way the sides of your eyes will be completely covered.
- Consider UV-blocking contact lenses. Ask your doctor if he carries ones that display the American Optometric Association Seal of Acceptance for UV-Absorbing Contact Lenses.
- More = better. Wearing UV-blocking contact lenses? Up your UV protection (and your style quotient) by also wearing a cool pair of shades and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Watch the clock. Be mindful that UV exposure for the eyes is highest in the morning and mid-afternoon.
- Make like a Boy Scout–be prepared. Planning on being in the sun at all? Bring along sunglasses, sunscreen, and a wide-brimmed hat or umbrella. Consider keeping a bag containing these items in your trunk in case you decide to make an impromptu trip to the beach, pool, park, or any other outdoor location.
- UV protection isn’t just for summer. Protect your eyes year-round. UV radiation is present even in winter, when snow reflection could actually double your overall exposure.
Remember, your Personal Health Advocate can help you with a variety of health-related issues, such as finding qualified doctors, locating eldercare services, and untangling medical bills. Visit HealthAdvocate.com to find out more.
For a full range of helpful and authoritative articles on thousands of health-related topics, sun safety among them, click here to visit healthywomen.org.