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Children’s sight put at risk as parents ignore dangers of sun’s harmful rays, warns Derby optician

Protect your children’s eyes from the sun or risk permanent sight damage – that’s the message to parents from a leading Derby optometrist.

Davina Dosanjh, practice owner and optometrist at Richard Petrie Optometrists on Burton Road in Littleover, says parents aren’t doing enough to protect their children’s eyes from the sun and urgent action is needed.

She says only one in four parents buy sunglasses to protect their children’s eyes and in a recent report it was revealed just one in three adults believed that eyes can’t even get sunburned.

As temperatures are set to soar across the UK with reports of warmer weather on the way, Davina and her team say there’s no better time to start thinking about sun protection - and they’re here to help.

Davina says: “Most parents don’t realise that 80 percent of a lifetime’s UV radiation is absorbed into the eye before the age of 18.

“A large number of people are unaware that over exposure to UV radiation from the sun can lead to eye burn, macular degeneration or cataracts in later life.

“At Richard Petrie Optometrists in Littleover, we are extremely keen to highlight the dangers of not protecting your children’s eyes.

“As parents, you keep your children safe in the sun by applying sun cream and sun hats, but you should also make them wear sunglasses too.”

Davina, who has been a fully-trained optometrist for more than 14 years, is backing a Sun Awareness Campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of long exposure to the sun and to promote safety when outside. She believes more parents need educating and optometrists up and down the country should be helping to highlight the issues.

She said: “Children are more susceptible to damage to the retina from UV rays because the lens inside a child’s eye is clearer and the pupil is large.”

According to Davina, frequent exposure to UV rays can cause serious problems and harmful radiation can penetrate deep into the eye. She says that sunglasses should be an essential item that goes with your children everywhere. Parents need to know to buy sunglasses with UV protective lenses, which carry the CE mark – guaranteeing they meet European standards for sun protection.

“We have a fantastic range of polarised children’s sunglasses in stock, in various colours, at a cost of £14.95,” she said.

“If you haven’t already invested in a pair for your son or daughter, I urge you to do it. As parents, it’s your job to protect your children’s eyes from the sun.”


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