Eye protection off the job is just as important as eye protection on the job. Skin can burn in less than 15 minutes in the sun and, similarly, the eyes can be seriously damaged by UV rays too. UV light can easily penetrate eye tissue and put you at risk for many eye conditions, including cataract, cancer of the eyelid, and age-related macular degeneration, to name a few. The best eye protection you can use on those sunny days off the job is sunglasses. But, are you remembering to use eye protection with your children?

Just like adults, children are prone to sun damage too, especially in their eyes which have not matured enough to effectively filter out harmful UV rays. We don’t let our kids outside to play without sunscreen on their precious skin; consider sunglasses to be like sunscreen for the eyes. If you make sunglasses as routine as sunblock, our little ones won’t want to leave home without a pair of shades!

When choosing a pair of sunglasses for your child, make sure they conform to the American National Standards Institute’s guideline ANSI Z80.3 which specifies UV protection and impact protection. Effective sunglasses should block 99%-100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound sunglasses are especially effective at protecting the whole eye. If your child wears prescription glasses, order their prescription glasses with light reactive lenses that become darker, like sunglasses, in the sunlight and revert to clear lenses inside.

The Health Plan’s vision benefit is provided by VSP and covers one vision exam annually, new eyeglass frames every two years and new prescription lenses every two years, or annually if needed due to a change in prescription, all at 100%. Light reactive lenses are a covered lens upgrade by the VSP vision benefit and also covered at 100%. Coverage for services and eyewear provided by a non-VSP provider are only covered up to the allowable charges payable to VSP providers. You are responsible for all remaining charges.