Staying Safe: Eye Protection

Family Vacations, Summer 1996

Staying Safe: Eye Protection

Fat-tire trails teem with pebbles, dirt, and low-hanging tree branches-all of which can wind up in your eyes. Invest in a good pair of sport sunglasses to protect you and yours from these trail hazards, and specify that you want a shield. These wrap around your face and grip the head. When buying for kids, look for lenses made of lightweight and shatter-resistant polycarbonates. Adults can choose between these lenses and glass (better optics and, when well-made, just as durable).

And when outside, get in the habit of wearing shades for protection from UV rays. While people are diligent about smearing themselves and their kids with SPF levels that would protect skin on Mercury, they often neglect their eyes (see "Suncreens," page tk). Scientists now suspect that ultraviolet radiation is a cause of cataracts and degenerative diseases of the retina.

Knock-off glasses with cheap tinted lenses can do more harm than good by causing the eye's lenses to open, leaving them vulnerable to UVs. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends sunglasses that block all UV rays.
These companies offer UV protection for both adults and kids: Boll‰, 800-554-6686; Nikon, 800-645-6687; Revo, 800-843-7386; Vuarnet-France Optical, 800-348-0388; Suncloud, 800-578-8767; and Ray-Ban, 800-472-9226.

Copyright 1996, Outside magazine

More Gear