How to keep your family safe this summer


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Wear Sunglasses with Complete Ultraviolet Protection. You already know that you should protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation (UVR). But our eyes need similar protection, too. UVR comes from the sun and may also be reflected off surfaces such as water or sand. Sunglasses are key but must offer 100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays. There are many choices of sunglasses that provide this protection.

Use Goggles at the Pool. While swimming in a pool is a great way to cool off and get exercise, the chlorine in the water can feel awful on your eyes. The chlorine is designed to protect you from exposure to germs but can also hurt your eyes. Protect your eyes by wearing goggles and also consider wearing them if you swim the ocean or other natural bodies of water because they may contain other contaminants that may hurt your eyes.

Wash Hands and Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes. The best way to protect yourself from the spread of communicable disease is to wash your hands regularly. Doing this helps avoid contracting eye-related conditions such as conjunctivitis. You often develop conjunctivitis after touching something that someone else has touched after they rubbed their eyes.

Wear Hats. Even if you wear sunglasses every time you go outside, you are not offering complete UVR protection to your eyes and eyelids. The gaps found along the sides of sunglasses still offer exposure to UVR. Wear a hat with a brim at least 3 inches wide to provide additional protection.

Protect Against Chemicals. While people are more likely to sustain chemical burns to their eyes while at work, there are several opportunities to hurt your eyes in non-occupational tasks, as well: hand or body soap bubbles that haven't been rinsed off properly; spray paint that blows back into your face; even being too close to the bonfire. If you are working with any kind of toxic chemicals wear protective goggles or other protective eyewear and take care to handle solutions delicately, so that they do not splash.

Keep Children Safe and Start Young with Eye Protection. The World Healthy Organization notes that as much as 80% of a person's lifetime UVR exposure occurs prior to the age of 18! That is because children spend lots of time playing outdoors especially during the summer. Children should also wear sunglasses and hats and it is also good to apply sunscreen, especially on their faces.

Wear Eye Protection During Outdoor Activities. Dust or sand in your eye is also an environmental threat to your eyes. Foreign bodies like them can cause abrasions to the eye and the cornea of the eye. Most corneal injuries heal in a day or two without too much pain or difficult. But if the abrasion involves woodworking or yardwork, there is a greater risk of long-term injury. Look to prevention first by using safety glasses or other protective equipment to shield your face and eyes from potential damage. Even the condition of dry eyes can increase your risk of corneal abrasion.

Eat Healthy and Drink Plenty of Water. Did you know that what you eat has the power to affect how well you see? Many foods are rich in nutrients that could improve your eyesight and help prevent the development of long-term vision problems. During the summer, people are more likely to become dehydrated which can affect their eyes.

Use Eye Drops. Sometimes you need to use some kind of eye drops to minimize pain or manage other eye problems. If you have allergies that make your eyes feel tired or excessively try, you may also benefit from eye drops.

Get Adequate Sleep. Even with a busy lifestyle, you need to know that your eyes are counting on you to be rested! Rested eyes are important so that you don't suffer decreased cognition on visual tasks such as driving safely. When you are tired, your eyes are more likely to feel dry which encourages you to rub them and can increase the likelihood of exposure to irritants and diseases.

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