Protect your children’s eyes

Baby in sunglasses
Baby in sunglasses

WITH school holidays about to start and predictions of the best British summer for years, Kavi Kotecha, of Selby & Taylor Opticians in March and Chatteris, is reminding parents to protect their children’s eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

In a survey carried out for sight charity Eyecare Trust, a massive 44 per cent of parents rarely or never make sure that their children wear sunglasses.

Although most people are aware that sun protection is vital for skin, our eyes are naturally ten times more sensitive to UV light and children are most at risk.

Young eyes have bigger pupils and clearer lenses, allowing up to 70 per cent more UV light to reach the retina than in an adult’s eye.

Eye damage from UV light is cumulative and irreversible and can lead to conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration – Britain’s biggest cause of blindness.

Mr Kotecha said it is especially important to protect children’s eyes when they are playing on the beach or by water where there is a lot of reflected light.

Good quality sunglasses need not be expensive and buying them in a department store is fine as long as you know what to look for. Safe levels of protection against both UVA and UVB are essential and this is indicated by the European Standard CE mark or the British Standard BSEN 1836:1997.

Children in particular need sunglasses that are comfortable and won’t fall off. Selby & Taylor Opticians can advise on styles that offer the right level of protection, fit properly and are resistant to scratches.

For this week’s competition, Selby & Taylor have put forward an Ultimate Goddess Makeover and Photoshoot for two.

To be in with a chance of winning, answer the following question: What kind of light causes eye damage?

Put your answer on the back of a sealed envelope or postcard, along with your name, address and a daytime telephone number, and send it - marked SELBY & TAYLOR COMPETITION - to the Citizen at 11 Union Street, Wisbech.

Entries can also be emailed to

Closing date is 10am on Tuesday, July 26.