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Children’s Eye Safety in Sports

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Eye injuries are the leading cause of vision loss in children, and most of these injures happen while playing sports. Regular eyewear such as eyeglasses and sunglasses do not protect children from eye injuries and in some cases may make an injury worse if they shatter. Protective eyewear is made of ultra-strong polycarbonate, which is a type of plastic that is impact resistant and protects eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most protective eyewear can actually be made to match glasses or contact prescriptions.

Children should wear protective eyewear whenever they are practicing or playing sports that raise their risk of an eye injury. Some sports have a higher risk than others, but all sports have risk. Basketball is the leading cause of eye injuries in children; however, these injuries are easily preventable by wearing protective eyewear. Other high-risk sports include:

  • Baseball and softball
  • Hockey
  • Fencing
  • Paintball
  • Mountain biking

Moderate risk sports include:

  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Badminton
  • Tennis

Wearing protective eyewear can greatly decrease the risk of eye injury in all sports. Parents, teachers, and coaches should all know the risks and promote eye safety.

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