Friday, April 1, 2011

April is Sports Eye Safety Month

April is Sports Eye Safety Month

In addition to April being Autism Awareness Month, April is also Sports Eye Safety Month. It is estimated that 40,000 eye injuries take place annually are sports related. Being fit and active is great but steps need to be taken to protect your eyes and vision. Out of those 40,000 eye injuries over 90% of them could have been prevented with proper eyewear and protective gear.

Eye injuries are one of the leading causes of blindness and visual impairment in children. Common injuries range from abrasions of the cornea, bruises of the lids to internal eye injuries such as retinal detachments and internal bleeding. Unfortunately, some end up with permanent vision loss and blindness that could have been prevented.

It is a myth/common misunderstanding that only children who wear glasses require protective eyewear for sports. All children's eyes and vision should be protected. Children who require the use of prescription lenses will have different protective eyewear needs.

It is a myth that the only sports that require protective eyewear are sports such as hockey, football, baseball or basketball. Each sport has its own unique eyewear needs - yes, tennis, swimming, soccer, martial arts and cheerleading too.

Most sports leagues do not enforce or require mandatory eye protection. Parents, it is up to you to demand this of your local sports programs and to be proactive in protecting your child's vision regardless of requirement.

For children who wear glasses, the use of polycarbonate (shatter-proof) plastic lenses or contact lenses is recommended. Protective sports goggles (like Rec Specs) can be made with prescription lenses. I ordered Rec Specs for my daughter who plays ice hockey and it was a very simple process. In Ice Hockey they also wear a helmet with a full face shield.  children should get into the safe practice of wearing protective eyewear such as a helmet with a face shield or sports goggles. Children who wear prescription lenses can get prescription goggles such as Rec Specs, Jr. My daughter plays ice hockey and wears both a helmet with a full face wire cage and prescription Rec Specs JR that I ordered from A Sight for Sport Eyes and had them in about a week. They are made of polycarbonate material and have a safety strap to hold them onto her head. Rec Specs is just one brand of Sports Goggles which come in several different styles. If your child wears glasses and will be playing sports, be sure to ask your eye doctor about getting them fitted for a appropriate sports goggles for their preferred sport.


For more info on Sports Eye Safety month including: a full listing of suggested eye protection by sport, a sports eye safety press release, and sports eye safety proclamation visit the AOA website.

Printable Handout on Protective Eyewear

2 comments:

  1. I am so glad to have found your website - for both the amblyopia/glasses information and for the hockey information. My little boy wants to start playing hockey next year with his older brother, and he was just diagnosed with anisometropic amblyopia. It is good to know there are prescription sports goggles, and that they fit under an ice hockey helmet! He also wears hearing aids, so we have quite the amount of gear to get under the helmet, lol!

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