With spring sports season right around the corner, it’s important to start thinking about protecting your children’s eyes as practices begin. More than 31,000 people suffer from eye injuries every year while playing sports, according to Prevent Blindness, and one-third of these injuries happen to children. Eye injuries caused during sports range from abrasions, contusions and corneal lacerations to detached retinas, hemorrhages, cataracts and even the loss of an eye. Luckily, almost all of these injuries are preventable when proper protection is used.
Preventing Eye Injuries with Proper Gear
Among children ages 5 to 14, baseball is the greatest cause of eye injuries at around 21 percent of all cases, Parents reports. Most of these injuries result from ocular contact with the ball while batting and sometimes when fielding or pitching.
Consider this example: Little League does not require the use of protective face masks, but Parents shares that the Dixie Youth Baseball Team does mandate polycarbonate face shields for all runners and batters. Since this regulation was implemented in 1993, players wearing these shields have suffered no significant injuries to their eyes or face and the gear has not affected performance.
You can also purchase specialized eye protection for certain sports, including face masks with contoured shields or full-face protectors for other spring activities like lacrosse and racquetball. However, regardless of the sport, children should wear protective glasses or goggles with polycarbonate lenses at all times, Eye Smart advises.
Choosing Eye Protection
The following tips from Prevent Blindness will help you choose the right type of eye protection for your child’s needs:
- If your child uses prescription glasses, ask your eye care professional to fit the protective eyewear with prescription lenses. Ordinary glasses are never a substitute as they offer no protection against eye injuries because the lenses may shatter upon impact and damage your child’s eyes.
- Choose only lensed protectors with lenses that either pop out or stay in place under contact.
- Your kids will gain the highest level of protection from eyewear labeled as ASTM F803 approved.
At Real Kids, all our shades offer 100 percent UV protection and feature impact resistant, shatterproof lenses, perfect for maintaining children’s eye safety during spring sports. Visit our website to purchase a pair for your child in time for spring sports season!