Football helmets, shin guards, mouth guards, lacrosse helmets, you know how to protect your kids from sports injuries of all varieties, concussions, chipped teeth, fractures, head injuries.
But when it comes to eyewear, how do you measure up?
According to the National Eye Institute:
- Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children
- Every 13 minutes, an ER in the United States treats a sports-related eye injury
- Most eye injuries among kids aged 11 to 14 occur while playing sports
- These injuries account for an estimated 100,000 physician visits per year at a cost of more than $175 million.
Sports like basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, ice and field hockey and tennis can be particularly dangerous. Your child’s eyes are at risk from wayward balls, flying equipment like racquets or bats, and even other players’ body parts — fingers, elbows, and feet are the most common. Younger children who are less experienced and have underdeveloped hand-eye coordination are particularly vulnerable.
But there is good news. Ninety percent of sports-related eye injuries may be prevented with protective eyewear. Prevention is the best and most effective treatment. Regular eye exams are the first step. Make sure your child has an eye exam before beginning any sports-related activity to ensure vision is normal or is corrected with prescription eyewear. Even if your child has perfect vision, getting your child the proper sport-specific protective eyewear is the key factor in eye safety and injury prevention.
The best protective eyewear, which is made of ultra-strong polycarbonate, is 10 times more impact resistant than other plastics and does not reduce vision. Sporting goods stores carry a good assortment of sport-specific protective eyewear. Proper eyewear is labeled with the American Society for Testing and Materials standards written on the packaging, making it easy to decide which pair is best suited for each athletic activity. The eyewear should sit comfortably on the face, and not slide off.
If you do have an eye emergency, head to the emergency room immediately and make sure to consult with an ophthalmologist. Delaying medical attention can result in prolonged injury, vision loss, or blindness.
Start off the season right and protect your child’s eyes from sports-related eye injuries. And parents, don’t forget the UVA / UVB eyewear for your own eyes!
Contact ZiekerEye if you ever experience sports-related eye injuries.