Children's Eyes More Vulnerable To Sun Damage -- Anderson Cooper's Temporary Blindness Was Preventable with UV Protective Sunglasses --

CONCORD, Mass., Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Anderson Cooper, host of "Anderson Live," was temporarily blinded for 36 hours following a two-hour boat trip in Portugal where the sun damaged and burnt his cornea.  Eye health concerns like cataracts, skin cancer of the eyelids and melanoma in the retina can all result from sun-damaged eyes.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children's eyes are at even greater risk for permanent damage from sunlight until they are at least 10 years old, because their eyes are highly sensitive and still developing.  Furthermore, 90% of total lifetime damage from the sun's harmful rays occurs by age 18.  Most parents (82%) encourage their children to use sunscreen when outdoors in the sunlight to protect the skin, but only 32% protect the vulnerable eyes of their infants, toddlers and children with sunglasses.

Real Kids Shades manufactures a line of protective infants' and children's sunglasses that provide the 100% UV-A and UV-B ray protection, as recommended by Prevent Blindness America.  Real Kids Shades are safe, lead-free and made of impact-resistant, shatterproof polycarbonate frames and lenses, a material that is hailed by Prevent Blindness America as "the first choice for children's eyewear."

Dr. Deborah Sarnoff, senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation was quoted as saying, "It is really important that everyone wear sunglasses that protect against both UV-A and U-VB rays. Even during the winter, you should protect your eyes from dangerous rays, particularly when they are reflected off of bright surfaces such as snow."

"Recognizing that children's eyes are at special risk from the harmful effects of UV rays, since their eyes are still developing and are more vulnerable to sun damage, we developed Real Kids Shades to provide serious sun protection, and designed them to be comfortable, kid-friendly and stylish," says Lisa Medora, VP Product Development, Real Kids Shades. "Our line offers real value in a range of colors and styles especially designed for babies, toddlers, young children and tweens, as well as children active in sports, taking into consideration the need for venting, anti-glare, and anti-fog properties. Several of our styles are even made to float so they won't be lost by water sports enthusiasts."

"Real Kids Shades were developed to be both durable -- to withstand kids' lifestyles -- and great-looking, so that kids will want to wear them," added David Scheinberg, CEO, Real Kids Shades. "Furthermore, Real Kids Shades are designed for fun in the sun with protective shatterproof lenses in polycarbonate frames and lenses that kids won't break, wraparound frames that minimize exposure to peripheral light, and neoprene bands that are comfortable and stay put even with active children or when babies fall asleep in their strollers or car seats."

And sunglasses are not just for sunny summer days, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), they are also needed during the winter season when reflections from snow, water, sand or pavement can intensify UV rays to extremely high levels.  In addition, the sun's rays pass right through haze and thin clouds, making sunglasses a necessity during the early afternoon when UV radiation is strongest, and a must when participating in winter sports, particularly at high altitudes. 

The Real Kids Shades are designed for all children 12 and under and come in a wide assortment of shatterproof polycarbonate frames and lenses with either adjustable neoprene bands, rubber flex, or matte metallic finishes. Several of the styles can be fitted with prescription lenses. 

Real Kids Shades offer 100% UV protection, as measured by the strictest American, European and Australian governing bodies and are Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) compliant, CE Certified and FDA Approved for protecting children's eyes against dangerous exposure to UV-A and UV-B rays.  Real Kids Shades are approved by the Melanoma International Foundation and meet with the sunglass recommendations of Prevent Blindness America.  Suggested retail prices start at $14.99 to $19.99.  For more information and store location, visit www.realkidshades.com.

[Real Kids Shades is a registered trademark]

SOURCE Real Kids Shades



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