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Summer Safety Tips: Protect Children's Eyes in Sun, Sports Activities
Date:4/14/2009

Advice from The Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Summer vacation for school-age children means outdoor play and long hours at the beach. The increased sports activity and exposure to ultraviolet rays also means an increased risk to children's eyes, according to experts at The Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090414/NYFNSX01)

New research shows that children's eyes can be damaged from sun exposure, just like their skin. This damage may put them at increased risk of developing debilitating diseases such as cataracts or macular degeneration as adults.

According to Dr. Mark Borchert, a pediatric ophthalmologist and the director of The Vision Center, the lens of a child allows 70% more UV rays to reach the delicate retina than in an adult. Most parents are aware of the critical need to protect their children's skin from UV exposure, yet few insist their children wear sunglasses.

"If it is bright enough outdoors for you to be wearing sunglasses, your child should also be wearing them," he said.

Wearing protective goggles during sports activity is also recommended. The National Eye Institute reports there are more than 100,000 sports-related eye injuries every year with 42,000 requiring emergency care.

The experts at The Vision Center (www.thevisioncenteratchla.org) have the following safety suggestions for children.

  1. Make sure your kids wear sunglasses -- especially younger children. Almost half the entire time we spend outdoors in our lives occurs before 12-years of age. Sunglasses
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SOURCE The Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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