We have officially started school sports season, and you have probably purchased the gear, including team jerseys, equipment, and shoes. But have you considered your child’s eye protection?
Consider these sobering facts:
- There are over 40,000 sports related eye injuries in the United States every year
- Eye injury is the leading cause of blindness in children
- Every 13 minutes an emergency room in the United States treats a sports related eye injury
- Baseball is the leading cause of sports related eye injury in children 14 years old and under
- Basketball is the leading cause of sports related eye injury in kids 15 and above
- Racquetballs can travel between 60 and 200 miles per hour
- Eye injuries are not caused only by fast moving balls, but by contact such as being accidentally poked in the eye by a stray elbow or finger
- The most dangerous sports include baseball, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, football, soccer, racquetball, fishing and paintball
Sadly, the use of protective eyewear is low in athletes, while 90% of these injuries could be prevented with protective eyewear.
What should I look for in protective eyewear?
Polycarbonate is the best material available, because it is tough and offers the best protection. Polycarbonate is lightweight, scratch resistant, and can endure ten times more impact than most other materials. Sports goggles can be made for prescription users or fitted for protection only. Fit is an important component of choosing your child’s eyewear, as it should not be too big or too tight. Talk to your eyecare provider when you bring your child in for his or her yearly checkup.