Don’t be in the shade about kids’ eye health

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As the summer sun shines down, the kids love nothing more than getting outside and heading to the park, beach or even the garden for plenty of playtime.

Before they head out, parents whip out the sun cream without a second thought, slathering it on to protect tender soft skin.

While we all know what consequences the sun’s harmful UV rays can have on skin, when was the last time you seriously thought about sun damage to your children’s eyes?

Eyes are just as delicate as skin but for children, they are more vulnerable to permanent damage as their pupils are bigger and cornea and lenses clearer which means more light can reach the retina.

UV and extended sunlight exposure can lead to impaired vision later in life including cataracts and age related macular degeneration.

Children’s sunglasses shouldn’t just be a fashion accessory. Look out for the UV sticker, CE mark and British SEN number for the most effective protection against invisible rays.

Always buy real sunglasses rather than toy ones and look for shatterproof frames, especially for kids on the go all summer long. Wrap-around frames are great for kids as they block any sideways rays too.

Most opticians will be able to offer prescription spectacles with full UV protection and tints of various densities and colour, as well as lenses that change colour in the sun such as photochromic (transitions) lenses.

As children grow, their eyes change too so it is vital to have regular exams with your family opticians to preserve their vision and help detect any underlying eye problems.

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