Keep your kids cool (and safe) in UV-screen sunglassesHEALTH NOTES: You’ve learned to smear sunscreen on your children to protect their skin from the sun. But it’s just as important to protect their eyes, a Duluth optometrist says.
By: Compiled by John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
You’ve learned to smear sunscreen on your children to protect their skin from the sun. But it’s just as important to protect their eyes, a Duluth optometrist says.
“Some studies have shown that you get most of your UV exposure before you’re 20 years old,” said Dr. Teresa Theobald of Theobald Family Eye Care.
Ultraviolet rays aren’t what make you squint when you’re out in the sun, said Theobald, who is immediate past president of the Minnesota Optometric Association. It’s the visible light spectrum that does that. You aren’t aware of UV rays at all.
But in the long term, Theobald said, continued exposure to UV radiation can age eyes prematurely, and they can cause: cataracts; cancer of the eyes; pterygium, an abnormal growth of the covering of the white of the eye onto the cornea; and damage to the retina, which will worsen macular degeneration.
Even though the damage might not show up until later in life, children may be accumulating more of the damage than adults, Theobald said. There are three reasons for that. For one thing, children tend to be outside more than adults. Also, their lenses are more transparent to UV, allowing more of the rays to reach the retina. And they are physically closer to the ground — and closer to reflected light off of water, sand and concrete.
The best defense, for children and adults, is sunglasses that eliminate at least 99 percent of UV rays, she said. Not all sunglasses do that, Theobald said. The lenses must be placed in a UV meter to test for UV absorption. Theobald Family Eye Care has a UV meter at its office on Arrowhead Road.
A wide-brimmed hat or visor can block 50 percent of UV rays, she said. It’s most effective if the brim has a black underside.
If you or your child already wears glasses with polycarbonate or Trivex lenses, the lenses fully protect you from UV rays, Theobald said. But you still should wear a wide-brimmed hat or visor to block rays from above.
St. Luke’s heart care gets positive feedback
St. Luke’s hospital received a Five Star Excellence Award for the overall quality of care in inpatient cardiac services, the hospital announced in a news release.
The award is given by Professional Research Consultants, a health-care consulting firm based in Omaha, Neb., and is based on patient feedback. It’s given to the top 10 percent of organizations nationally based on “excellent” responses from patients. The cardiac unit at St. Luke’s was chosen from among 202 inpatient cardiac facilities, the hospital said.
Search on for health system’s new leader
Duluth-based Benedictine Health System has begun its search for a new leader.
Board chairman Brian Lassiter is leading a search committee for a president/CEO to replace Dale Thompson, the Catholic senior-care organization said in a news release. Thompson, 65, announced in March he would retire at the end of the year after 10 years at the helm.
The board hopes to name a new president/CEO in November or early December, the news release said.
A Minneapolis-based executive search firm was retained to help with the search.
Benedictine Health System has more than 50 locations in seven Midwestern states.
Giant plastic teeth!
An “oral health education program” doesn’t sound like loads of fun, but Just Kids Dental promises that it is.
The Two Harbors nonprofit is taking its show to the Boys & Girls Club of the Northland — the branch that’s in the Duluth Heritage Sports Center in Lincoln Park — at 3 p.m. Friday. The boys and girls will receive dental-health “goodie bags.” They’ll also witness the aforesaid program, in which Muppets, giant plastic teeth and toothbrushes the size of Great Danes are promised, or threatened, depending on your point of view.
It’s part of Just Kids Dental’s “10,000 Toothbrush Giveaway” campaign. Just Kids Dental provides dental care to underserved children in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin.
Car seat, vehicle not always a match
It could be a royal pain for Prince William and Kate and doubly hard for Joe and Maddie Mauer, and perhaps for you, too, if a baby has joined the family.
It’s not easy to find the right combination of infant car seat and car, researchers for the Ohio State University College of Medicine say.
The researcher looked at 3,186 combinations of car seats and vehicles, a College of Medicine news release said. They found that an awkward fit isn’t unusual.
“All car seats you buy are safe, but not all of them may fit into your particular car,” said John Bolte, who led the study.
Manufacturers commonly suggest “homemade modifications” to make the seats fit, he said.
Bolte is sharing his data with car companies and car-seat manufacturers in hopes they can decide on compatible designs, the news release said.
In the unlikely event that you missed it: Both the royal couple and the Twins catcher and his wife are first-time parents. Prince George was born to William and Kate on Monday, and twin girls Emily and Maren were born to the Mauers on Wednesday morning.