Did you know that the leading cause of blindness in children is eye inquires, and that most eye injuries in schoolchildren are sports-related? According to The National Eye Institute, the damage from eye injuries can be temporary or, or they can lead to permanent loss of vision.
School children eye injury statistics:
- Most eye injuries in school-aged children are from sports.
- Baseball players under age 15 get the most sports-related eye injuries.
- Basketball records the most eye injuries in young adults aged 15 through 24.
Eye protection is key to preventing sports-related eye injuries. The non-profit organization Prevent Blindness America has named September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month.
Fifty percent of children are involved in organized sports, but the majority of youth sports leagues don’t require eye protection. Eye protection is needed during both practice and game play. Ten times more resistant to impact than other plastics, polycarbonate eyewear should be selected that meets the requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). For each sport, there is a specific ASTM code.
Children who wear prescription glasses will be tempted to wear them instead of protective eyewear; however, the optometrist or optician should instead fit these children with protective prescription eyewear.
To protect against cataracts and other harmful effects of the sun on eyes, sports eye protection needs to have 100% UV protection. They should be padded on the bridge of the nose and along the brow to prevent cuts.
Eye injuries from sports can include:
- blood spilling into the eye’s anterior chamber
- blunt trauma
- corneal abrasions
- fracture of the eye socket
- inflamed iris – iritis
- penetrating injuries
- detached retina
- swollen retina
- traumatic cataract
Anyone who has an eye injury should consult a health care professional immediately.
Source: 8/21/2012 press release. Prevent Blindness America is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight.