Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Blog, Children | 0 comments

First thing’s first: Happy Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month! Everyone needs to protect their eyesight on a regular basis, but athletes in particular need to take protective measures as many popular sports, like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and golf, have a high risk of eye injury. Each year over 100,000 children visit physicians due to eye injuries, according to the National Eye Institute. Here are few tips from Dr. Kinard’s office on how kids and their parents and coaches can help keep the eyes out of danger while playing sports.

goggles

Protective Sports Eyewear

About 20% of kids wear corrective lenses, which means the vast majority of kids may not have ever had an eye exam or conversation with an optometrist. As a result, many kids playing sports may not be aware of the importance of protective sports eyewear, the risks involved with sports, or the available products to help keep eyes safe. Studies by the American Pediatric Association (APA) have shown that athletes who wear protective eyewear result in fewer head and face injuries than those with no protection.

One suggestion from the Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries is to reach out to coaches and athletic directors to disseminate information regarding eye injury risks and preventive measures. We encourage parents to ask coaches to share information about eye risks with their athletes and to advocate all sports participants to wear protective eyewear.

So what kinds of protective eyewear are available for sports?

Badminton

Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses

Baseball

Polycarbonate face guard or other certified safe protection attached to helmet for batting and base running; sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses for fielding

Basketball

Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses

Bicycling (low eye risk)

Sturdy streetwear frames with polycarbonate lenses

Fencing

Full face cage

Field Hockey

Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses; face mask for goalie

Football

Polycarbonate shield on helmet

Handball

Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses

Ice hockey

Helmet and full face protection

Lacrosse

Helmet and full face protection

Racquetball

Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses

Soccer

Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses

Softball

Fielding: Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses; Batting/Base Running: Polycarbonate face guard

Squash

Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses

Street hockey

Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses

Swimming and water polo

Swim goggles

Tennis

Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses

Track and field

Sturdy streetwear frames with polycarbonate lenses

Source: The American Academy of Pediatrics

Good Habits Start Early!

Make sure your kids start their athletic eye care as soon as they’re on the field.  Eyeguards, face masks, and faceguards all come in sizes made for children. If you need help shopping for protective eyewear for your kids, give our office a call (706) 353-2119.

While certain injuries may seem minor, they can lead to delayed vision loss in the long run, and there are a limited amount of options for your vision once it’s gone.  Simple precautions can prevent traumatic eye injuries, vision loss, even blindness. Many sports already require protection for other parts of the body (kneepads, shoulder pads, shin guards, etc.), so don’t forget about the eyes!