The first week in May is Sun Awareness Week, an awareness week organised by the British Association of Dermatologists about the importance of sun protection. Their advice throughout this week is focused on prevention alongside early detection of skin cancer.
Exposure to UV in moderation is healthy as it stimulates the production of Vitamin D which his vital for maintaining bone strength, however overexposure to the sun can be damaging to your body in many ways including your eyes and the surrounding skin.
Your eyes are delicate and require daily protection from UV radiation. UV penetrates the eye at different depths with UVA being mostly absorbed by the lens and UVB absorbed by the cornea. Overexposure to UV has been linked to the development of eye conditions such as cataracts, photokeratitis and more. Studies suggest that ¼ of your lifetime exposure to UV occurs before the age of 20, increasing the risk of damage caused by UV later in life.
By teaching children how to protect themselves in the sun and from UV at an early age, it will help them develop healthy habits to carry through their life. Here are a few of our top tips for protecting yourself and your child from UV exposure:
- Sunglasses are a must even on a cloudy day. UV is always present and although the UV index may be lower on a more overcast day it is still present. Sunglasses will offer 100% protection to the eye and surrounding skin, but they must have the CE mark on the side and state they are UV 400. Oversized sunglasses offer more protection as they cover a larger area and wraparound sunglasses provide protection from the sides. There are lots of sunglasses options available for children, in a range of styles including flexible frames for babies and toddlers.
- Glasses lenses with UV protection. Prescription lenses with certain coatings offer UV protection throughout the day if you’re out and about. The lens is coated in a way that prevents indirect or reflected UV rays from reaching the wearers eyes.
- Wear a hat. Wearing a had with a wide brim, or peak will help to provide some shade for your eyes. Whilst it doesn’t block any UV it will help to shelter your eyes and provide more visual comfort on bright days.
For more information about sunglasses, or UV protection contact us today and talk to a member of our team.