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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

How Parents and Kids Can Safely Enjoy a Day in the Sun and Protect Their Eyes

Tran Long/

Getting outdoors is a great way to spend time with your kids, stay active, and enjoy the health benefits of nature. Whether you’re splashing around at the beach, playing and exercising at the park, or setting up camp in a campsite, being out in nature can be incredibly healing and energizing. However, being outdoors can expose you and your kids to the sun’s harmful UV rays, damaging the eyes. It’s essential to find the right balance between healthy sun exposure and protection to ensure you and your children can prevent or delay certain eye conditions. Here are some ways parents and kids can safely enjoy a day in the sun and protect their eyes:

Wear sunglasses

One of the best ways parents and kids can protect their eyes is by wearing sunglasses outside. Children especially can be vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays since they typically get more sun exposure than adults, which is why they need a good pair of shades as well. When 
choosing the right sunglasses, adults can benefit from well-fitting shades with larger or wraparound frames for more protection. A pair of shades with headbands or built-in straps that go around the back of the head and neck can be good for kids since they won’t easily fall off. It’s also vital that your shades have 100% UVA and UVB protection.

Your vision is also something to consider. If you or your child need glasses to see, 
prescription sunglasses are a convenient choice for clear vision and sun protection. Many brands offer prescription options for many sunglasses in their selection, and you can easily have that arranged even when shopping from an online retailer.

Stay in the shade

A day in the sun with your kids can be a lot of fun, but be aware of being exposed to sunlight for too long. 
Safe sun exposure can range from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on skin sensitivity and color, so it’s crucial to ensure you don’t overdo it. After some time outside, staying in the shade during your day out can help parents and kids protect their eyes from the sun.

Try avoiding being out for too long when the sunlight is at its strongest, which is typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If everyone is out playing in your backyard, take constant breaks and head back inside the house to minimize sun exposure. At the beach, umbrellas or canopies can provide shade to protect the eyes. Wearing sunglasses under shady areas can also further increase your protection. If you have a child that still needs a stroller, make sure it has a shield or cover on it to prevent direct sunlight exposure.

Keep hydrated

With all the sweat produced from the heat and the activities you’re doing with your kids, the more you need to stay hydrated. Hydration ensures you replenish the water lost from sweating, but it also plays a role in keeping you and your kids’ eyes protected and healthy. Not staying hydrated can prevent your eyes from producing sufficient tears. Not enough tears can lead to dry eyes and irritated or blurry vision.

Make sure you and your kids have water bottles handy when you’re outside so everyone gets enough water. Smaller bottles work best for smaller kids so that they won’t have trouble drinking from them or carrying them around. Parents can benefit from insulated water bottles to ensure the liquid stays cold even in warm weather. If dry eye symptoms persist, you can use eye drops to help lubricate the eyes.

Enjoying a sunny day out with the whole family can be made even safer with the proper sun protection. Wearing sunglasses, staying in the shade, and drinking enough water benefits both parents and kids and ensures more long-term protection when done consistently. Making sun protection a family effort can make it more exciting!