7 out of 10 children do not wear sunglasses outdoors

VSP Vision Care launches EyeFiles online video promoting eye health awareness
Rancho Cordova, CA – June 29, 2011 – Even with new regulations on the labeling of sunscreen products to help consumers better protect their skin, many Americans are still unaware of the sun’s damaging effects on their eyes. In fact, a survey by VSP® Vision Care found that while 68 percent of adults wear sunglasses outdoors, less than 30 percent of children wear sunglasses outdoors. 
“The sun contains a wide spectrum of radiation, such as ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which damage the eyes the same way they damage the skin.  However, much of the damage the sun causes can be prevented simply by wearing a pair of sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays,” said Dr. Leanne Liddicoat, a VSP optometrist who stars in VSP Vision Care’s EyeFilesTM web series, whichcan be viewed on the EyeFiles tab on the VSP Facebook page: www.facebook.com/VSPVisionCare.  The latest video highlights the importance of wearing sunglasses at any age.
UVA and UVB rays can cause cataracts and macular degeneration, and are believed to cause melanomas (cancerous growths both inside and around the eyes), all of which can cause blindness.  UV damage is cumulative over time, so it’s never too early or too late to start protecting your eyes from the sun, especially with young children.
“Parents wouldn’t dream of bringing their children to the beach without sunscreen, and yet we often leave their eyes exposed to the same dangers of the sun,” said Dr. Liddicoat. “I encourage parents to have their children wear sunglasses as soon as possible, as it’s important to create healthy habits early.”
Similar to sunscreen protection, sunglasses have certain requirements needed to best protect your eyes. When purchasing sunglasses for yourself and your family, Dr. Liddicoat offers the following tips:
  • Look for sunglasses that offer 100%  UVA and UVB protection.
  • Consider polarized lenses that cut down on glare from lakes, rivers, oceans and beaches. 
  • Children’s sunglasses should have a strap that keeps them secure on their face and keeps them from getting lost.
  • The more coverage the frame gives your face (both in size and how much it wraps around your face) the more protection you will receive
 # # #
About VSP Global
VSP GlobalSM includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 56 million members; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity®, the eyecare industry’s premier provider of innovative business solutions that improve practice management and the patient experience; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics. 
Since 1997, VSP has provided more than 622,000 low-income, uninsured children with free eyecare. VSP promotes the importance of annual eye exams for maintaining eye health and overall wellness.





Pat McNeil