Whether on the basketball court or baseball diamond, sports can be a major source of injuries that can harm a child’s vision. A recent study shows that among kids age 10 to 14 treated in the ER for eye injuries, 41% were related to sports equipment. This accounts for more eye injuries than for any other cause in all age categories.
An estimated 13,500 of all sports eye injuries end in permanent vision loss. With baseball season about to start, now’s the time to get all parents informed on how they can protect their children’s vision with proper eyewear. Below are some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
SPORTS EYE SAFETY TIPS
- GLASSES AREN’T ENOUGH: Athletes who wear contacts or glasses should also wear appropriate protective eyewear, as contacts offer no protection and glasses are not sufficient protection since lenses may shatter when hit by a projectile.
- GET POLYCARBONATE SAFETY GOGGLES: For basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey, wear protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses, which are shatterproof.
- WEAR EYE PROTECTION EVEN IF NOT REQUIRED: For baseball, ice hockey and men’s lacrosse, wear a helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield – even if the league does not officially require it.
- REPLACE WHEN NEEDED: Eye protection should be replaced when damaged or yellowed with age, as they may have become weakened and are no longer protective.
Get more sports eye safety information at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart website.