When planning your Family Day winter activities, be sure to think about the safety of your family’s eyes. Whether you are hitting the ski slopes, skating outdoors or building a snowman together, we want to ensure your eyes are well protected from any eye injuries or irritations.
That’s why we’ve created a list of tips to make sure you’re being EYE safe this Family Day:
Wear sunglasses with 100 per cent UV protection
If you think wearing sunglasses is only required during the summertime, think again! It’s important to wear 100 per cent ultraviolet (UV) protected sunglasses in the winter season, as the UV rays are in fact more intense – especially when it snows. Since the skin on the eyelids and around the eyes is very thin, it’s more susceptible to dryness and skin cancer. Children are more vulnerable to the effects of UV rays, as their eyes absorb UV rays more easily, which puts them at a greater risk for eye damage.
Remember that sunglasses are protection for your eyes, just as sunscreen is for your skin!
Wear goggles when playing winter sports
You may choose to spend the day on the slopes skiing, snowboarding, or tubing with your family. If that’s the case, remember to wear 100 per cent UV protected goggles. It’s easy for debris such as dirt, slush or ice to get into your eyes while being active outdoors. Wearing goggles will not only protect your eyes from debris and foreign objects, but also against the sun’s harmful rays. It’s important to note that sunglasses should not be worn as a replacement, since they are not built like goggles to withstand impact.
Keep your eyes hydrated
During the winter months, the heat from indoors or a campfire can often cause dryness and irritation to the eyes. To help prevent this, make sure you are:
- Wearing sunglasses to block the cold wind
- Sit further away from heat sources
- Invest in a humidifier for your home to counteract the dry air produced by your furnace
- Drink lots of water to hydrate your eyes
- Take Omega-3 supplements or eat foods rich in Omega-3 (e.g. oily fish and flaxseeds)
- Use artificial tear drops
Wash your hands
During the cold months, people are more susceptible of getting pink eye, the swelling and reddening of the conjunctiva (the thin transparent layer covering the inner eyelid and part of the eye).
Pink eye is often caused by bacteria and viruses that come in contact with your hands. To ensure these germs don’t reach your eyes, make sure the family washes their hands on a regular basis. This is especially important for children who tend to touch everything in sight!
Book an eye exam for the entire family with your local optometrist
The most important way to be EYE safe on Family Day is by booking eye exams for the entire family, with your local optometrist.
Some eye conditions and diseases can go symptom-less for years before permanent vision loss has occurred. An optometrist will be able to detect and help manage these conditions in the early stages, so that your family can carry on with their daily activities.
The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommends eye exams at 6 months of age, again at age three and every year thereafter or as recommended by the optometrist. Children 19 and under and adults 65 and over are covered by OHIP.
ABOUT THE ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF OPTOMETRISTS:
The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) is the leading professional organization, representing over 1,700 optometrists. We are dedicated to helping our members provide the highest standard of eye health and vision care for Ontarians while driving the profession of optometry forward. For more information: www.optom.on.ca.
Ontario Association of Optometrists
905-826-3522 ext. 246