Vision Therapy Blog

Watch Your Head!
How to Maximize Summer Fun While Protecting Your Eyesight and Brain

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Summer’s coming fast, and that means more time spent outdoors. Many fun summer activities can also be dangerous if the proper precautions to prevent injury aren’t taken. Read on for tips to stay safe during the summer season.

EYES

1. Wear Sunglasses

This one seems pretty obvious, but our society treats sunglasses more as a fashion accessory than as a tool to protect our eyes from harmful rays. Be sure to choose a pair that protects from UVB and UVA rays for maximum efficacy. Sunglass lenses also come in a material called “polarized”. This feature reduces glare from water or sand, as well as when driving. And, sunglasses aren’t just for adults who are trying to look cool, invest in a pair for each of your children as well.

2. Keep Eye Drops Handy

Sand, sunscreen, bug spray, seawater, chlorine…these are all irritants that can get into our eyes during the warmer months. Ask your eye doctor which brand of eye drops are best, and have a bottle on hand at all times.

3. Wear Goggles

When swimming, chlorine and seawater can really agitate our delicate eyes. A simple solution is to wear goggles when swimming underwater. Take time to ensure they fit snugly and effectively.

4. Don’t Touch

Teach your children to keep their fingers out of their eyes. Not only will this prevent them from infecting their eyes with germs, but they’ll also learn not to accidentally place dirt, sand, sunscreen, or other irritants into their eyes.

5. Minimize Exposure

Enjoy the outdoors in small doses. After several hours of being outside, have your family take a break indoors. Give your eyes a rest from the elements, recharge, and head back out.

BRAIN

6. Feet First, First Time

When swimming in an unfamiliar lake, pool, river, or any other body of water, always enter it feet first the first time. Jumping in head first can lead to a head injury, concussion, paralysis, or even death.

7. No Diving

Better yet, skip diving altogether. It’s not worth the thrill of it, just to end up with a possible life-threatening injury. Protecting your brain and head is worth more than any fun you can dream up.

8. Wear a Helmet

Forget about the fact that many of us “survived” without helmets growing up decades ago. Helmets have saved many lives, and you or your child may end up a statistic if you forego wearing one. When riding a bike, scooter, skate board, or anything else with wheels, don a helmet for maximum safety.

9. Learn to Swim

Learning to swim is a necessary life skill. The earlier you teach your kids, the better. In addition to learning to swim in a pool, children should be educated about safely swimming in oceans, lakes, and rivers. The cost of lessons is worth potentially saving a life, or preventing a brain damaged from lack of oxygen or a head injury.

10. Concussion Awareness

If you or your child does happen to injure your head this summer, know the signs of a concussion. Symptoms may include headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue. Call your doctor immediately if you suspect you, or your child, has a concussion.

A little education goes a long way. Be sure to inform yourself and your family members of safe and easy ways to ensure that your eyes, head, and brain stay healthy this summer. No need to stay indoors, get out there and have fun, but do it the right way!

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