Eye Protection for Children
According to Prevent Blindness America, more than 40,000 people each year are treated for eye injuries related to sports activities. For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports.
Almost all sports-related eye injuries can be prevented. Whatever your game, whatever your age, you need to protect your eyes. While protective eye gear may not be the latest craze in tennis or baseball, think for a moment about what could happen if we fail to protect our eyes. We wear helmets to protect our head and pads or braces to protect our bones and joints. Extra precautions are taken to prevent concussions, broken bones, bruises and chipped teeth, so what about our eyes? What can we do to prevent the possibility of permanent vision loss, a scratched cornea or fractured eye socket? Broken bones and bruises will usually heal, but a serious eye injury can put you on the disabled list for life.
Eye Guard Guidelines
- If you wear prescription glasses, ask your eye doctor to fit you for prescription eye guards.
- Buy eye guards at sports specialty stores or optical stores. At the sports store, ask for a sales representative who’s familiar with eye protectors to help you.
- Don’t buy sports eye guards without lenses. Only “lensed” protectors are recommended for sports use. Make sure the lenses either stay in place or pop outward in the event of an accident. Lenses that pop in against your eyes can be very dangerous.
- Fogging of the lenses can be a problem when you’re active. Some eye guards are available with anti-fog coating. Others have side vents for additional ventilation. Try on different types to determine which is most comfortable for you.
- Check the packaging to see if the eye protector you select has been tested for sports use. Also check to see that the eye protector is made of polycarbonate material. Polycarbonate eye guards are the most impact-resistant.
- Sports eye guards should be padded or cushioned along the brow and bridge of the nose. Padding will prevent the eye guards from cutting your skin.
- Try on the eye protector to determine if it’s the right size. Adjust the strap and make sure it’s not too tight or too loose. If you purchased your eye guards at an optical store, an optical representative can help you adjust the eye protector for a comfortable fit.
- Until you get used to wearing a pair of eye guards, it may feel strange, but stick with it! It’s a lot more comfortable than an eye injury.
Wolfe Eye Clinic offers expertise on childhood eye safety and eye protection for children.