Greetings! April is Sports Eye Safety Month, and this EYE Digest blog post will cover statistics on sports related eye injuries and ways to prevent these injuries so that you and your children can enjoy playing sports without the worry of losing vision.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 sports-related eye injuries occur each year. About 13,500 of these injuries result in permanent vision loss. Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States. Most of these injuries are sports related.
The majority of eye injuries in children's sports stem from basketball and baseball. When it comes to eye injuries, sports can be classified as low risk, high risk and very high risk.
- Low-risk sports do not use a ball, puck, stick, bat or racquet. Ex: track and field, swimming, gymnastics, and cycling.
- High-risk sports use a ball, puck, bat, stick or racquet, and may involve body contact. Ex: baseball, basketball, hockey, football, lacrosse, tennis and other racquet sports.
- Very-high-risk sports involve body contact. Ex: boxing, wrestling and contact martial arts.
Approximately 90% of sports related injuries can be prevented by simply wearing protective eye wear. Here are some key tips for eye safety when playing sports:
- Wear proper safety goggles for racquet sports or basketball. It is important that any eye guard or sports protective eyewear are labeled as ASTM F803 approved. This eyewear is performance tested to the highest ANSI standards to give you the best levels of protection.
- If you are playing an outdoor sport, make sure your protective eye wear has UV protection as well. UV light is harmful to the eyes.
- Use polycarbonate face shields on batting helmets for youth baseball.
- Wear goggles for swimming and pool related activities.
- Use U.S. Amateur Hockey Association approved helmets and face shields when playing either ice or roller hockey.
- Know that regular glasses and sunglasses don't provide enough protection
If you have additional questions about sports eye protection, do not hesitate to contact us. Our office is proud to fit protective eye wear for any type and level of sport!
-Dr. Aaron Neufeld