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Archive for August, 2009

Are sunglasses harming your child’s eyes?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 by:

I slather on enough sunscreen so that neither of my children has ever had a sunburn, but I may not be doing as well when it comes to protecting their eyes. And it looks like I’m not alone in my neglect. A recent poll by the Royal College of Optometrists found that 75 percent of parents are risking their child’s eyesight by exposing them to bright sun without sufficient protection.

My infant fares okay. While he refuses to wear sunglasses for more than about 10 seconds, he almost always dons a brimmed hat in sunny weather, which shields his eyes from the sun’s rays.

My two-year-old, however, often tosses his hat and rarely wears glasses. If he does, I’ve just found out that they’re the wrong kind. According to the College of Optometrists wearing cheap sunglasses with no UV filters poses an even greater danger than wearing no glasses at all. With cheap glasses, the pupils dilate to allow more harmful rays into the eye but they don’t provide protection.

To find out if your child’s sunglasses make the grade look for the letters CE on the inside of the arm.