Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
It’s not just your child’s skin that needs protection from UV rays; eyes also need protection. Parents.com asked Michael Pier, O.D., Director of Professional Relations and Practitioner Education at Bausch + Lomb Vision Care North America, to answer questions about keeping kids’ eyes safe from the sun.
What are the best ways parents can protect their children’s eyes from the sun’s glare during the summer?
Children should wear sunglasses or a wide brim hat in bright sunlight. This is extremely important when they are outside between 10:00 am – 2:00 pm when UV rays are strongest.
At what age should kids start wearing sunglasses? How do parents know which sunglasses are the most effective?
Sunglasses are available for children as young as 6 months old. There are special frames that contour to a child’s face and fit the “youth” bridge of the nose. Make sure your child’s sunglasses say they block 99%-100% of UVA and UVB rays.
Is there other protective eye gear that children should wear?
Children who are active in sports should wear sports goggles that feature UV protection treatment. For children 8-12 years old, daily disposable contact lenses are also available through prescriptions (Bausch + Lomb offers SofLens).
How can eyes be kept safe from chlorine at the pool, sand at the beach, allergens in the backyard, etc.?
Kids should refrain from touching their eyes with unwashed hands. If kids feel the need to rub their eyes, encourage them to use a clean towel when outdoors.
If eyes are exposed to too much sun, what first aid procedures can parents rely on?
Excessive exposure usually result in sunburned lids and eye area. Manage the sunburned places with delicate applications of soothing creams or lotions, but avoid putting anything in the eyes.