Summertime is right around the corner, which means children everywhere are getting ready for swimming and fun outdoors. Summer fun sometimes brings summer injuries, and the last thing you want for your child is problems with their vision. Children’s eyes can get infections from germs, allergies, public pools and more. Not wearing protective eyewear during sports and while being outside in the sun can also damage eyesight. Find ways to protect your child’s eyesight during the summer in these situations and more!
The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that 1 in 4 children has an eye problem that could result in permanent vision loss. Summer is a high time for children to develop eye problems due to public pools, pool chemicals, the sun and more. Going to public pools is a popular activity for many families and children. This is a place where children can easily get eye infections. Make sure your children know the risks of opening their eyes in public pools and advise them not to do it.
Not much can be done about infections unless you stick to only visiting private pools. However, you can protect children’s eyesight against harmful pool chemicals like chlorine. Chemicals can easily irritate a child’s eyes, making them red, blotchy and giving them blurry vision. Long exposure to chemicals can damage vision over time that doesn’t correct on its own. Your child can be fitted for goggles that are just the right size and shape for their eyes and head. Goggles are the best way to avoid problems with eye chemicals in the pool. If your child has redness after swimming at a public pool that doesn’t go away (or other symptoms), call our office to make sure they don’t have an infection.
Many people know that summertime is when the sun is hottest and brightest. Just like you can get a sunburn, you can also burn and damage your eyes. Even if you put sunblock on your skin, that doesn’t do anything for your eyes. You must protect children’s eyesight with proper sunglasses fit for them. Each day of summer is a chance for harmful UV rays to damage your child’s eyes. Ultraviolet rays have the shortest wavelength compared to other lights, meaning they carry a ton of energy that hits your eyes strongly.
Looking at the sun even once can hurt delicate tissues in the eyes that can’t fix themselves. Being outside without sunglasses can quickly cause vision damage in children that stay with them throughout life. Protect their eyesight with custom-made sunglasses that are guaranteed to block out 100% of harmful UV rays. Store-bought sunglasses often don’t provide any UV protection, so make sure you always buy sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
Many professional athletes wear protective eyewear for running, biking, contact sports, winter sports and more. There are specialty sports glasses for any outdoor activity and event you can think of and that includes children’s activities! Protect children’s eyesight with proper goggles for swimming sports, sunglasses, and durable protective eyewear for contact sports. There are glasses that cover all sides of the eyes (similar to goggles) so that dust, dirt and more won’t get in your child’s eyes. Come see what options your child has at our office for the sports they practice during the summer.
Outside in the sun or at the pool aren’t the only places where your child can injure their eyesight. Did you know that everyday items around your home can damage children’s eyesight? Many people don’t realize it, but tablets, smartphones, laptops, LED and fluorescent lighting and more all hurt vision. How? Next to UV light rays on the electromagnetic spectrum is blue light. This is a barely-perceptible light that carries a high amount of energy—almost as much as UV light. That light is found in modern “smart” technology.
If you’ve noticed your eyes seem strained after staring at a screen for a long time, it’s for a reason! Blue light rays can cause something called “digital eye strain”. Children and adults alike get eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and even neck and shoulder pain after being in front of a screen too long. Long exposure to blue light throughout life can also lead to macular degeneration, which leads to blindness. Blue light can also keep your kids up longer at night if they are on screens late, because blue light messes up your child’s circadian rhythm. Protect children’s eyesight from these problems and more with proper computer glasses!
Summertime is a great time for children to have fun, but the time passes by very quickly. Soon it will be time for them to start another school year. You want them to have the best chance possible as they learn, and their eyesight can make quite a difference. Make sure to observe your child often when they watch tv, read a book, or do similar activities. Do you notice them sitting way too close to the television? Do they seem to squint? If a child can’t see well they will get headaches, rub their eyes often, struggle to read from far distance or will have short attention spans.
Every 1-2 years your child should have a comprehensive eye exam to check that their vision is clear. If you notice that your child has abnormal eye symptoms (such as excessive tearing), make sure they see the eye doctor more frequently. If we find a vision problem present, we can fit your child for glasses so they can truly succeed and see well in school. Whether you’re protecting children’s eyesight during fun summer activities or allowing them to see clearly during the school year, you can be sure you are helping them perform at their best. For questions about protecting your children’s eyesight even more, call Peeper’s Optical today at (303) 223-0401!