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Eye Safety Tips for Summer Sports

Summertime is a busy season for sports and outdoor activities. Between
taking the kids to the pool, getting them to soccer practice on time and
making every T-ball game with equipment in tow, it can be easy to forget
something.

When you’re packing up the swimsuits, cleats, uniforms, helmets,
bats and balls, don’t forget to think about eye protection for your child.

Sports-related injuries are the most common eye trauma in children ages
11 to 14, with blunt trauma causing the majority of these injuries. Sports-related
injuries can be minor, such as a black eye, or more serious, such as fractures
to facial bones or even a ruptured eyeball. An eye injury as the result
of blunt force trauma or impact to the eye can result in partial or total
blindness.

The sports with the highest incidence of eye injuries are those with high-velocity
ball action, including racquetball, tennis, soccer, golf, baseball, basketball,
lacrosse and hockey.

In addition to blunt-force trauma to the eye, swimming also poses a risk
to eye health. Bacteria in pool water, lake or ocean water can cause eye
discomfort or even eye infection.

Despite these facts about eye injuries, few children wear eye protection
while playing sports. Protecting your child’s vision is simple with
these tips.

  • Wear protective eyewear while playing sports. Goggles or even sunglasses made of polycarbonate lenses can protect the
    eyes from a sports-related injury. Polycarbonate is a shatter-resistant
    material, and polycarbonate lenses are 10 times stronger than other lenses,
    better able to withstand direct contact during sports like baseball. They
    are also the thinnest, lightest lenses available.
  • Ensure eyewear meets safety standards. Polycarbonate lenses for athletes must be used with protectors that meet
    or exceed the requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials
    (ASTM). Each sport has a specific ASTM code. The lenses should either
    stay in place or pop outward in the event of an accident.
  • Properly fit protective eyewear. Protective eyewear should fit comfortably yet securely, allowing the use
    of a helmet, if necessary. It should be padded or cushioned along the
    brow and bridge of the nose to prevent cuts in the event of a direct hit
    to the face.
  • Wear UV protection. In addition to being shatter-resistant in the event of direct contact to
    the eye, polycarbonate lenses also filter 100 percent of ultraviolet light
    from the sun. This is an added bonus, as UV exposure can also damage the eyes.
  • Wear goggles when swimming. The chemicals and pH levels in the pool can damage your eyes and bacteria
    in the water could cause an eye infection. Wearing goggles not only protects
    your eyes from what’s in the water, but goggles also help a swimmer
    to see more clearly under water.

Whether you’re suiting up your little one for a Little League game
or you’re hitting the tennis court for some friendly competition,
be sure you and your children have proper eye protection to prevent eye
injuries this summer.

Posted in: Eye Care for Athletes

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