September is Sports Eye Safety Month

Prevent Blindness America has named September Sports Eye Safety Month.  Each year there are thousands of sports related eye injuries and children and young adults are at the highest risk. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 72% of eye injuries in the United States occur in individuals younger than 25 years old and 43% occurred in individuals younger than 15 years old.  It’s important to learn how to protect yourself and your family from the dangers.

Not all eyewear protects against injury.  In fact, sun wear and corrective eye wear can be dangerous.  The American Optometric Association urges even casual athletes to protect their sight – and that of their teammates – by keeping street eyewear off the playing field.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Ophthalmology also strongly recommend protective eyewear for all participants in sports in which there is risk of eye injury. 

Sports with moderate to high risk of eye injury include: 

  • Basketball                   
  • Field Hockey               
  • Martial Arts                 
  • Volleyball Softball                         
  • Ice Hockey                  
  • Tennis                        
  • Football Cricket                         
  • Fencing                       
  • Badminton                  
  • Fishing  Lacrosse                      
  • Boxing                        
  • Soccer                        
  • Golf

If you or your children are in sports, it is important to wear protective eye wear and the right kind.  The American Academy of Pediatrics provides Recommended Eye Protection for Selected Sports in an easy reference table as published in the Journal of Pediatrics.  This information clearly presents the minimum standard of eye protection for several of the sports listed above.

Sports vision goes beyond just wearing protective eyewear.  Having good vision is a critical component for any sport.  If your vision is compromised, your athletic abilities may be as well.  Before beginning any sport, it’s important to have an eye examination to determine if any type of corrective eyewear is needed as well as to get professional medical guidance on the right protective eye wear to use.

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