November 9, 2010

Baby's Eyes During His Sun Bath

Sun baths for babies have become popular. Their great value in the promotion of healthful growth and in averting or curing rickets and tuberculosis as well recognized by the medical profession and by the public.

Many mothers and a great many welfare workers become concerned about the possible effects of sunlight on the eyes of a baby receiving a sun bath. In order to assemble the facts, the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness asked the views of a number of ophthalmologists (eye physicians) and pediatricians (baby specialists).

What Physicians Advise

None of these eminent authorities has ever seen a baby's eyes permanently damaged by exposure to the sun during a sun bath. This group of physicians agree that it is not advisable that the baby lie on its back exposed to the mid-day sun in summer. The pediatricians pretty generally advise that in summer the sun baths should be given only in the morning and afternoon, approximately before ten and after two or three o'clock.

All of these medical specialists advise that the same precautions be taken to prevent too rapid burning of the skin and tissues of the eyes, as with other parts of the body.

It would probably be wise, for the first month of life, to make some provision for protecting the eyes and eye tissues from any considerable exposure to the sun.

Precautions During Sun Baths

Usually, by the time the physicians are advising sun baths, the only eye precaution that need be taken during exposure is to have the child's feet directed away from the sun. While lying in this passion morning or afternoon, the rays of sunlight will not pass directly through the pupil to the center of the retina, that part of the inside of the eyeball concerned with sharp vision.

As a rule, the baby more than a month old or any young child will close the eyes if the light is too strong, or will indicate by restlessness or by crying, if any eye discomfort or irritation is produced. Generally speaking, the health value of the sunlight bath far outweighs any possible danger to eyes or vision.

Substitute an electric lamp for the sunbath only upon the advice of your physician. Serious damage to baby's tender eyes and skin may be the result of improper use of these devices.

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