Parents take every known precaution to protect their child from injury and harm. It’s imperative that they are alerted to the high prevalence of sports-related eye injury in children, and that we, their trusted eyecare professionals, recommend appropriate eye protection for the specific sport in which the child participates.
According to the National Eye Institute, sports injury is the number one cause of blindness in children in the U.S. This is an alarming statistic especially considering it is estimated that 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries are preventable if proper protective eyewear is worn.
Sports-related eye injuries disproportionally affect children. Prevent Blindness America states that most sports-related eye injuries occur in children of school age with 43 percent of them being 14 years or younger, and that the majority of eye injuries occur when protective eyewear is not worn.
Parents and coaches must be the guardians of children’s eyes. We must arm them with the startling statistics to spur them to insist on protective eyewear for any child participating in sports activities. Our responsibility is to assure that appropriate ASTM labeled sports protective eyewear and eye guards for the specific sports activity are recommended and dispensed. Parents need to know that regular eyeglasses and sunglasses won’t protect the eye from a sports injury and can result in more severe injury.
Check out the June issue of SunVision for a free CE course “Protecting Our Amazing Eyes” sponsored by iCoat to learn more about protective eyewear.