Why Your Child Needs Protective Eyewear | Complete Eye Care West

Why Your Child Needs Protective Eyewear During Sports Eye Safety Month

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Does one or more of your children play sports? Do you know what type of eyewear your child needs while playing?

There are thousands of sports-related eye injuries in the United States every year. Unfortunately, the majority of these eye injuries are preventable with proper eye protection. 

The American Academy of Ophthalmologists has deemed awareness of protective eyewear in sports vitally important. This is why the AAO has named April Sports Eye Safety Month.

Maintaining eye health is crucial to a life well-lived. To keep your children’s eyes safe, you must understand the different types of eye protection available.

Keep reading to learn about why your child needs to wear protective eyewear while playing sports. 

Which Sports Have The Highest Rates of Eye Injuries?

Many sports can be dangerous to children’s eyes. Some of the sports with very high rates of eye injuries include:

  • Softball
  • Baseball
  • Bike riding
  • Soccer
  • Paintball
  • Airsoft guns

The top culprits for youth eye injuries are softball for girls and baseball for boys. No matter how old your children are, you need to ensure they use the proper eye protection to keep their eyes safe.  

Do Glasses Protect My Child’s Eyes?

No, glasses are not enough eye protection while playing sports. Unlike eyewear designed to be protective during activity, glasses break, fall off, and move around.

If your child plays a contact sport, then glasses can be dangerous. The best eye protection for contact sports is prescription sports goggles.

If prescription goggles are not an option, the next best choice is contact lenses with non-prescription goggles. A third option is protective eyewear that fits over your child’s glasses.

However, if they play a water sport, then contact lenses are a bad choice. When they get wet, they can fall out or move around in your child’s eye.

Additionally, if your child is a swimmer or water polo player, they cannot wear contacts while in the pool. Chlorine damages contacts.

What Should You Look For When Selecting Your Child’s Protective Eyewear?

If your child plays a contact sport, look for shatterproof protective eyewear. Goggles made with polycarbonate lenses will not shatter when they get hit. Shatterproof lenses ensure your child’s eyes remain glass-free during all their activities.

Sports that involve wearing helmets protect your children’s eyes more than non-helmet sports. Having face protection decreases the risk of eye injury while they are playing.

The best types of helmets are the ones with a wire shield or polycarbonate face mask. This way, the player can see while objects and bodies stay away from their eyes. 

Finally, make sure that the eyewear you buy meets the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) requirements. Your child’s eye doctor can tell you what option will be best to protect their eyes.

Do I need to replace my child’s protective eyewear?

If you notice your child’s protective gear has any damage or has yellowed anywhere, then you need to get rid of it. It will not protect them effectively after it has sustained any damage. It is essential to replace eyewear when you notice damage or deterioration. 

Children who do not wear proper protective eyewear can sustain a variety of injuries. Anything from a small scratch on their cornea to retinal detachment is possible while playing sports.

Need help picking out the proper protective eyewear? Schedule an appointment at Complete EyeCare West in Columbus, OH, with one of our ophthalmologists to discuss your options!