Protect your Eyes During
Long, Summer Days
There’s so much to see and
do in the summer. At the same time, there are many things
about summer that could get in the way of seeing anything
all year around.
Prevent Blindness America (PBA)
warns parents about the following summertime activities that
can harm a child’s sight:
Ultraviolet light: Children who spend a lot of time outside,
risk the damaging effects of the sun. UV radiation in sunlight,
including both UVA and UVB, has been shown to be harmful to
the eye. Constant exposure to bright sunlight can damage the
cornea (the clear outer part of the eye), the lens (the part
of the eye responsible for focusing), and the retina (the innermost
layer of the eye that sends an image to the brain).
?t is very important to protect
children’s sight from
the damaging effects of the sun—choosing well-fitted,
unbreakable sunglasses with 99®¢100% UVA protection
and a hat that shades the face are the best defense. Do not
buy any sunglasses if they don’t have a label stating
this degree of protection.
Summertime sports: Children are engaged in more sports activities
than ever before. Unfortunately, there are close to 40,000
eye injuries every year from participation in sports, with
basketball, water/pool activities, and baseball/softball the
three leading causes. Fitting your children with protective
eye gear can help prevent blinding eye injuries.
Fireworks: Backyard fireworks are
illegal in eight states for a simple reason—they’re
dangerous for anyone but professionals. Every year, there
are close to 10,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency
rooms and half are to children under age 15. In 2001, four
people were killed because of fireworks. Fireworks and celebrations
go together, especially during the Fourth of July, but there
are precautions parents can take to help prevent these injuries.
Official public displays are much safer, and, generally more
spectacular, although be aware that even professional displays
can be dangerous.
The best defense against kids suffering severe eye injuries
and burns is to not let children play with any fireworks. Protect
yourself, your family and your friends by avoiding fireworks.#
For more information
on summer eye safety, contact PBA at 1-800-331-2020, or PBA’s
New York Division at 1-212-463-3682. You can also visit www.preventblindness.org.