July 20, 2012
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- Vision Health Tips from The Vision Council
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Protect your family's precious peepers with these valuable tips and insights from The Vision Council
As someone who has worn glasses and/or contact lenses since I was 8 years old, it's safe to say that vision care has been at the forefront of my mind for the better part of three decades. I’m a stickler when it comes to scheduling my annual eye exam, and I plan to maintain a similarly strict regime to maintain the precious peepers of my 4-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son. So of course I was both delighted and intrigued when my friends at The Motherhood invited me to take part in a briefing call with The Vision Council, a nonprofit trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. One of most important parts of The Vision Council’s work is educating adults and kids about vision health and eye safety, and I’m pleased to report that I received quite an education during our call!
Until speaking with The Vision Council, I’d always worn sunglasses as a fashion accessory that just happened to shield my eyes from the glaring sun. I don’t like to be proven wrong (fortunately, it doesn’t occur too often – ha!), but in this instance I was pleased to be set straight on the importance of sunglasses in maintaining strong and healthy eyes. After all, UVA and UVB rays are constantly penetrating the Earth’s surface, leaving unprotected eyes exposed to harmful radiation, even on cloudy days. Believe it or not, you can even get a sunburn on your eye! Even a small amount of unprotected exposure is dangerous because UV exposure cumulates over time and can lead to serious health problems as you and your children age.
And yes, this issue applies to adults and kids alike, which makes the fact that only 58% of adults make their kids wear sunglasses even more concerning. Indeed, children receive three times the annual sun exposure of adults, and they have an immature lens, which makes them especially susceptible to UV-related damage. The bottom line is that UV exposure at any age can cause both short and long-term vision problems – many of which can’t be reversed.
So what can you do to promote vision health for yourself and your loved ones while also making sure your kids engage in valuable outdoor play? But a pair of UV-protective sunglasses from a reputable retailer, and use them! When it comes to selecting sunglasses, The Vision Council suggests taking the following into account:
1. Purchase sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection. These glasses shield eyes from both kinds of damage throughout the year.
2. One of the most important things to consider when purchasing sunglasses is comfort; not because comfort is more important than health, but because sunglasses won’t get worn if they aren’t comfortable. This is especially important when it comes to selecting sunglasses for your children.
3. Purchase from a reputable retailer. To determine if your sunglasses are reliable, look for a little sticker or tag on the lens that shows compliance with criteria set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The label "UV 380" covers all UVA and UVB rays. Avoid purchasing sunglasses from street vendors.
4. Consider your family’s activities and lifestyle when deciding which sunglasses are right for you. Beach or pool-going families will be well-served by polarized lenses, which filter out reflected glare from shiny surfaces like water and pavement. For sports enthusiasts, impact-resistant lenses are a smart choice because they are designed to handle high-impact from objects such as baseballs, lacrosse balls, Frisbees or any other projectile. Parents always on the go will want to consider anti-reflective lenses that provide extra protection in difficult lighting situations. These can be especially helpful on the road and during sunrise and sunset.
That's all well and good, but we all know that the best sunglasses in the world will be rendered useless if our kids refuse to wear them. If the beloved Disney Princess or Spiderman sunglasses that your child insisted on purchasing at the store typically end up tossed into a drawer or removed after only a few moments of use, you'll want to check out these tips from The Vision Council:
1. Make sure the sunglasses fit your children comfortably. Sunglasses that pinch or are scratched are less likely to be worn.
2. Set a prime example by always wearing your own shades. It will seem like a more natural habit if they see you in your own sunglasses.
3. Depending on your children’s ages, style might also play a role. Have them pick out a pair they like and they may be more prone to wear them.
4. For little ones, buy an inexpensive pair of sunglasses and outfittheir favorite stuffed animals in them. When their favorite friends are beingsunwise, they will be too.
I learned a great deal from my briefing session with The Vision Council, and plan to implement these valuable tips when it comes to my own family's vision care. Thanks so much to The Motherhood for allowing me to be part of such an enlightening conversation!
For more information on The Vision Council, including useful information sunglasses, lenses, tints and frames, visit The Vision Council's website at www.missingsunglasses.com.
This post is part of a sponsored campaign for which I am receiving compensation from The Vision Council via The Motherhood. The opinions expressed herein are, as always, entirely my own.
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