How to protect kid’s eye from the extremely harmful UV Rays
Parents are aware of keeping their kids skin protected from the sun by applying sunscreen, but how about their eyes? Don’t you think we should also consider kids eyes protection from the sun? Child’s eyes are susceptible to damage from UV radiation as they cannot filter UV light as efficiently as the adults'.
Sun damages the young eyes, which as a parent we usually overlook. Overexposure of the kid’s eyes to sun’s ultraviolet rays is harmful, and the effect is irreversible. In fact, it has been observed that more than 18% of all UV exposures occur in a child before the age of 18. Several eye problems have been associated with UV radiations like cataracts, cancer or even Macular Degeneration (vision loss). This is why eye protection from the sun for kids is very vital. There are components in the UV spectrum which is harmful to the eyes - UVA rays are absorbed deep within the eyes and UVB rays are absorbed through the cornea and lens.
Kid’s pupil is usually large, and the lenses are clearer inside the eyes which lets the eye absorb more UV radiations from the sun. Kid’s eye’s ocular lenses aren’t mature enough to filter the UV rays from the sun effectively as the adults can, causing damage to their retina. Kids tend to play outdoors in summer for more extended hours. Thus, kids eye protection in summer is an utmost necessity for parents to consider. Especially the kids under six months of age should be entirely shielded from the sun for the benefit of both skin and eyes as the baby is highly fragile at this age.
Although to protect your kid’s eyes is to keep them indoors during the sun’s peak hours between 10 AM to 2 PM when the UV radiations are at its peak intensity. Restrict the outdoor activities for kids at this duration. Even though it could be cloudy, clouds do not stop the UV rays to pass through and thus you should still protect your kid's eyes from the UV rays during cloudy days.
Tips for Eye Protection from the Sun for kids:
- Keep your children protected with a broad-rim hat or cap.
- Children should wear sunglasses with close to 100 percent protection against the UV radiation spectrum.
- Look for sunglasses that block both UVA rays and UVB rays from the sun. Be cautious of the quality of the lenses. Poor quality of sunglasses does more harm than any good to the kid’s pupils as they are dilated more to absorb UV radiations.
- Take doctors advice to get the best sunglasses for your child.
- The tint can be medium for your little one as the completely white clear lenses do not affect the levels of UV protection, tinted glasses on the other hand do. We do not recommend the darker lenses of the sunglasses for kids because to clear the vision, the kid’s eyes dilate more as compared to the one with medium tinted glasses causing extra UV rays to penetrate into the eyes.
- Try to get a sunglass for your little one with elastic band at the back as it prevents the kid from damage or loses it. Also that it fits comfortably in the eyes but teach them well beforehand to not play with this as the elastic band could choke them. Parents should always keep an eye on their toddler.
- Buy impact-resistant lenses for the kid as they are prone to break it easily with the outdoor sports they play or any activity they indulge in. Sunglasses also come in flexible frame style which is more durable and avoids any potential injury to the kid in case of breakage due to facial impact.
- Get them glasses which cover the maximum portion of their eyes such that there is lesser scope for them to still look outside the sunglasses.
- Especially while playing in the snow or water, the water reflects the sun very easily, and parents must encourage them to put on their sunglasses in snow and water too.
It is never too late to protect your kids’ eyes from UV rays from the sun.
Protection of eye from the sun for the kids during the eclipse:
By now we know that looking directly at the sun is unsafe but when it comes down to eclipse when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face you can look directly using the below safe ways of doing it. The powerful light can cause extensive damage to the eyes which is irreversible and sometimes even permanent eye damage called as solar retinopathy. Hence, follow the below tips:
- Ordinary sunglasses or homemade filters are not recommended for watching the eclipse. Only eclipse glasses are excellent filters to watch into the sun directly during eclipse
- Always inspect for any scratches or damages in your solar filter before using it. In case it does have any damage, discard it.
- Supervise kids using the solar filters during an eclipse.
- It is safe to look at the sun only when completely covered with the moon, until then if there is still a portion left to cover, then you must avoid looking up at that point.
- Wear your sunglasses first before looking up at the sky and once done, do not remove it unless you turn away from the sun and look down.
- Looking at the un-eclipsed portion of the sun via unfiltered camera must be avoided. Also, do not do it via telescope or binoculars etc.
- Do not look at the sun through the camera lens, it causes serious injury to the eyes.
- If you wear a normal glasses, then wear the solar filter on top of it for clear vision.
Clearly, eye protection in kids is something to be taken seriously. But this isn’t a big problem with the ways and tips that we have already recommended to follow to protect your kids from the sun’s UV rays. Also, make your kids understand why it is vital to protect one of the most sensitive sensory organs in our body. Be it winters or summers, it requires kid’s eyes to be protected.
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