While we happily cover our children in 50+ sunscreen, make sure they have a sun hat and keep them out on the midday sun without protective clothing we are not so careful with their eyes. But unfortunately the majority of sun damage to the eyes in done during childhood.
Overexposure to UV rays can cause serious damage, such as cataracts and eye diseases and with 80% of UV damage being done by the age of 18 however less than half of parents put their children in sunglasses.
‘The concern is that unlike your skin, your eyes have no natural protection against the sun,’ explained Boots Professional Services Director David Cartwright. ‘UV is absorbed by the eye which can damage vision and chronic damage is irreversible.’
But there is something easy you can do to protect your child’s eyes and prevent problems in he future. Put children in sunglasses even on a cloudy day and if they are too young to keep sunglasses on, make sure they are wearing a broad brimmed hat.
Speaking from the launch event at Mahiki in London, mum of two Patsy Kensit said: ‘I was surprised to learn that so many parents aren’t using sunglasses to protect their children’s eyes against UV damage. As a mother I think this needs to change and with Boots Opticians we’re asking parents to consider the fact that their children’s generation are likely to live longer than any other and therefore we need to help keep their eyes healthy for as long as possible.’
Parents need to protect their children and their future health and thankfully with children being easily influenced by their parents and celebrity idols, it is not too difficult to introduce healthy habits.
‘Children imitate adults, so if parents are taking precautions to protect their own eyes, their children could be more likely to want to wear sunglasses themselves,’ Boots optometrist Carolyn Norman says. ‘Letting your child choose their own sunglasses, could also help ensure they like them and keep them on when they’re out of your sight – it’s time we made sunglasses cool for kids!’
[picture credit: Constantin Opris | Dreamstime.com]