Eye Care & Protection
It might be a challenge trying to convince teenagers to wear protective eyewear when they play sports. However, sharing facts with them about sports-related eye injuries just might help them better understand the importance of protecting their healthy vision.
According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute:
- Children account for one third of all sports-related eye injuries.
- In children ages 11 to 14, a majority of the eye injuries suffered occur while playing sports.
- More than 100,000 sports-related eye injuries occur annually in the U.S., and 42,000 of these injuries require an emergency room visit.
Teens, and even parents, might mistakenly think that only certain sports require eye protection. The reality is that participants in almost every sport, whether it is baseball or running, should wear eyewear that provides protection from both impacts and from UV exposure. For example, a teen playing baseball could suffer a devastating eye injury when a batted or thrown ball impacts their eye. Similarly, an errant finger or elbow during a game of basketball can inflict permanent eye damage that could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.
Studies also show that protective eyewear, in addition to protecting a player’s sight, can also aid performance because players using protective eyewear do not worry about sustaining an eye injury and can instead devote their full attention and effort to their performance.
The following links provide more information about choosing the proper protective eyewear for sports.
By evaluating and providing the protective eyewear available and designed specifically for children, and insisting that they wear it, parents can help teens protect their eyes and establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
A detailed, in-depth look at teens’ and children’s eye safety and sports is available in Eye Safety at a Glance: Protecting Your Child’s Vision in Sports.