Summertime is right around the corner, which means children and adults everywhere are getting ready for swimming and fun outdoors. June and July are the most traveled months of the year in the United States, especially the closer it gets to the 4th of July. Hiking, outdoor sports, going to the beach, and soaking up the summer sun can be the highlight of your year. Here are some fun tips to get out and enjoy your summer break while keeping your skin and eyes protected!
Is your family heading out on a summer vacation? Many do! The average American takes 4-6 vacations every year, with about 84% traveling by car to their destination if it is in the United States. Florida, California, New York and North Carolina are the most traveled-to states, as they have major tourism hubs or popular beaches to soak up the sun.
Manele Bay in Hawaii is one of the most popularly visited beaches each year, with Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) coming in a close second. Many people actually take their kids with them for vacation, making it a family affair. 80% of families will take a vacation together in the summer, many hitting hot spots like beaches, lakes and other bodies of water. 62% of people will travel with kids under the age of 5, even though many people take solo or couples trips each year.
As you think about beaches and traveling, you also want to think about safety and preparedness for your summer vacation. June is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month and also National Children’s Vision and Learning Month. There are actually several holidays and observances in June that have to do with being mindful of your skin and eyes as you enjoy your summer vacations because the eyes are so important to your health.
Because large amounts of families are getting out in the summer sun, there are many more people exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays. The sun carries tons of energy in the form of various waves like x-rays, lightwaves (that you see), and lightwaves (like ultraviolet) that you can’t see. Those lightwaves will carry different energies that help you see colors, but they can also carry too much energy that can burn you.
That is why you want to wear some sunscreen before you leave the house all summer long, no matter if you are hitting the beach or not. Children will need the highest amount of SPF (Sun Protection Factor) you can get. Here are some tips for proper application:
Needing to squint outside just to see? Is everything dark when you come back indoors? Your eyes can play a lot of tricks on your when it’s bright and sunny out because they are having to adjust to so much summer sunlight streaming into your eye tissues. Your eyes act like the lens of a camera when you’re exposed to light. Light will hit your eyes, passing through the lens of the eye. The amount that passes through will be determined by your pupil—or the black circle of your eye—that will grow bigger or smaller to filter light. Too much light will blind you, which is why your eyes have this mechanism built in automatically.
When it’s bright and sunny out, your pupils will grow much smaller, only letting a bit of light in. However, too much light can be evident if you walk back indoors and it takes some time for your eyes to be able to see normally. An easy fix is to invest in a pair of sunglasses. They can rest right on your head, on your shirt or in an easy carrying case you can take with you everywhere during vacation.
Have you ever been outside and ended up with a sunburn? You get this because lightwaves that carry a ton of energy can damage your body’s cells and leave you with a burn. The same can happen with your eyes and the tissues inside of them. You can actually get a sunburn on your eyes when light reflects of sand (and even snow in the winter), reflecting light energy back at your eye. Eye sunburns can lead to red, painful eyes, seeing halos or blurry vision and stinging eyes for a day or more. Instead of having any of those problems this summer, make sure to pick up a pair of UVA and UVB (ultraviolet light-blocking) sunglasses so you can enjoy your summer without any eye issues!
Not traveling this summer? You can still get out and enjoy the warm, sunny months! For children, water tables, sprinklers, or baby pools (with parent supervision) are great ways for them to enjoy the summer right at your own house. Biking, hiking, going on a walk together, playing with balls and games outdoors and watching the sunset are also great summer activities for families to do together. No matter what you decide, getting outside for even a few minutes here and there can boost your feel-good hormones, your mood and your body soaks up vitamin-D from the sun. If you want some travel tips for staying safe and protecting your skin and eyes this summer, call Peeper’s Optical today at (303) 333-2800!