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Warning about sunlight and childrens' eyes

Norville Opticians issues warning about the danger of the sunlight to childrensí eyes

July 2010

Norville a leading firm of opticians in the South West has warned parents about the dangers of strong sunlight to childrenís unprotected eyes.

Norville Opticians warning about sunlight and children's eyesNorville Opticians which has practices across South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire, issued the warning as it presented sunglasses to members of the Hatherley & Reddings Under 15s Cricket team in Cheltenham.

Norville Opticians Managing Director Adrian Street said: ďWith the current spell of hot sunny weather many parents have become used to applying sun screen to their children but forget about the danger from the sunís radiation to their childrenís eyes. It is probably because you canít see it or the damage it causes but it is a fact that young eyes can receive up to 70% more UV than adultsí eyes and are far more susceptible. 

He continued by explaining that Ultra Violet (UV) radiation which causes sunburn and is linked with skin cancer is also linked with damage to eyes. Studies have shown that exposure to UV can cause considerable discomfort and over the long term can damage the central part of the retina and contribute to the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Childrenís eyes are more vulnerable to this radiation because they still have clear corneas, lenses and fluids thereby allowing more radiation to enter and pass through to the retina. According to the Eyecare Trust, by the time a child is 18 years old they could have absorbed as much as 80% of a lifetimeís exposure to UV.

He added that ordinary sunglasses with darkened lenses and which do not have UV protection are probably more dangerous than nothing at all. He said: ďAll they do is cause the pupils to become larger so that even more UV light enters the eye. Then there are the children who are already wearing spectacles. Ideally they should be wearing prescription sunglasses. Parents need to look for the European Standard CE mark or the British BSEN1836:2005 if they are to remain safe. We have a large stock of suitable glasses in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and can ensure that they are fitted to provide maximum protection. ď

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