Are your child’s eyes safe in the sun?

The Met Office, our national weather service, has warned that children’s eyes may be at risk from harmful UV rays as this long and bright summer continues

A survey the Met Office conducted has revealed that a staggering 72% of parents say that they do not protect their child’s eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This is despite the fact that children’s eyes are more at risk of sun damage than adults’.

What are the risks to your child’s eyes?

Information from The Eyecare Trust says that your eyes are ten times more sensitive to those UV rays than your skin is and that a child’s eyes are at more risk because children have large pupils and clearer lenses.

The Met Office survey showed that:

  • Most people in the UK did not know that UV can damage the eyes
  • Around 30% of people don’t realise UV radiation comes from the sun
  • People didn’t know that over-exposure to UV can cause eye burn, macular degeneration and cataracts later in life

Parents urged to protect children

Children’s eyes are not fully developed and do not have the natural lens protection adults have until they are 12. Yet only a third of parents said they are concerned about their children’s eyes being exposure to UV and how it could lead to long term damage. 32% of parents said they take sunglasses for their kids on a day – though they had no idea if their children’s sunglasses offered UV protection.

Tips for parents

Do not buy cheap sunglasses for your child and avoid any that don’t protect against UV radiation.

Buy a hat for your child and let them help you choose it, so tey will feel more encouraged to wear it

Keep babie sand young children in the hade and avoid the hotest and sunniest part of the day

You can find further information here: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/barometer/features/dont-turn-a-blind-eye-to-uv

 

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