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Sun Smarts: Protect Your Kids’ Eyes from Winter Rays

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Many of us think of summer as primetime for ultraviolet light, the skin-burning, eye-damaging form of electromagnetic radiation the sun emits. But especially in places like sunny Southern California, UV rays don’t stop in their tracks just because the season changes, caution Shagun Bhatia, MD, MSCR, and Kim Duong, OD, MS, MPH, FAAO, physicians within Rady Children’s Specialists of San Diego’s Division of Ophthalmology.

“The sun can be very damaging to the eyes, but it’s actually quite common to see kids wearing sunglasses and hats less frequently or not at all during the winter,” comments Dr. Bhatia. “Particularly in our area, where people stay active and visit the beach all year long, or are taking day trips to the mountains to play in the snow, we encourage our patient families to maintain the precautions they use in the summer.”

“Sunglasses are like sunscreens for the eye,” Dr. Duong continues. “It’s important to protect all the structures of the eyes that can be harmed by UV light. That applies to being exposed in any level of sunlight, any time of year.”

To help safeguard your child’s eyes this season, take a look at some additional facts and tips from Dr. Bhatia and Dr. Duong.