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See To Learn


We all know why we need to wear sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer. Winter, however, can be deceiving. It's an illusion to assume that we are safe from sunburns during the colder season.

Snow acts as a powerful mirror for sunlight and magnifies the effects of UV rays which would otherwise be absorbed by the ground. As a result, the eyes are exposed to both the UV radiation bouncing back from the snowy carpet and the rays shining down directly from the sun.

If your family is skiing or snowboarding up in the mountains, you need to be even more careful! UV rays are more powerful at higher altitudes. Another important factor to remember is that ultraviolet radiation penetrates through clouds, so even if the sun is hidden behind them, it can still damage your eyes.

Prevent overexposure to sunlight by wearing sunglasses that absorb at least 95% of ultraviolet radiation when you go outside, no matter what time of year it is. Even though you want to look great in your shades, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make sure the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to pay more for full coverage for your eyes. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide total ultraviolet protection.

Another important factor in selecting sun wear is the size of the lenses. You want to make sure your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also prevent UV waves from entering from the sides.

If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should be aware that the sun's rays are stronger at higher elevations, so you need to be especially careful to keep your eyes shaded on the slopes. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to put on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

Make a point to be knowledgeable about proper eye protection throughout the year. Don't forget to wear your sunglasses.


Good vision is critical to learning, because more than 80 percent of learning is done visually.
Yet studies indicate that more than 20 percent of kindergarten children have vision problems, and this number
climbs to between 30 and 40 percent by the time these children reach high school graduation.

Vision problems may keep many children from graduating from high school, as more than 70 percent
of juvenile delinquents and 60 percent of adults in literacy programs have vision problems. SEE TO LEARN® was
developed to reduce these statistics, and optometrists from across the country are working together to make sure
all children can see to learn.

SEE TO LEARN® is an innovative, three-step preventive health program designed to ensure that kindergarten
children entering school can see to learn and to educate parents and teachers about the warning signs of vision
problems in all school-age children.

  • Step 1: Ongoing education to alert parents and educators about the signs of vision problems in children of any age.

    • Step 2: A free vision assessment for your three-year-old by a participating Eye Care Council optometrist.
      This is designed to detect vision conditions that require correction at an early age. Although vision problems
      among the very young are generally uncommon, some serious conditions like amblyopia (lazy eye) and
      strabismus (turned eye), require care before age 5 to avoid permanent loss of vision.

      • Step 3: A professional vision examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist paid for by you, the parent,
        before or during your child's first year of school. This is an important investment that will help ensure that vision
        problems do not affect your child's ability to learn and do well in school.