Safety is in the eye of the beholder

Published in Eye Care, For the Health of It Author: Rebecca Johnson

Thousands of eye injuries could be prevented each year if people wore safety glasses or protective eyewear. Children are especially vulnerable to eye injuries — they don’t realize that a lifetime of healthy vision is at stake. Most eye injuries happen to children during sports and activities.

Every 13 minutes, an American emergency room is treating a sports-related eye injury. Experts agree that 90 percent of these injuries could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

Treat all eye injuries as potential emergencies. Contact your eye clinic or a health care provider as soon as possible.

Consider eye protection for:

  • archery
  • badminton
  • baseball
  • basketball
  • boxing
  • fencing
  • field hockey
  • ice hockey
  • karate
  • lacrosse
  • racquetball
  • soccer
  • softball
  • street hockey
  • swimming
  • tennis

Seek the advice of a professional optician to make sure the eyewear fits well and provides the amount of protection needed for your child’s sports and activities. Things to consider:

  • Sports such as baseball, hockey and lacrosse should include a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield.
  • Other sports — basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis, etc. — should feature wraparound polycarbonate lenses or side shields.
  • Look for comfort features such as the hypoallergenic frame material and shock-absorption padding.
  • Swim goggles with polycarbonate lenses protect your child’s eyes from pool chemicals, water-borne microorganisms and UV rays.
  • Protective eyewear can be purchased with prescription lenses.

Let your child choose the style he or she prefers — as long as it provides adequate eye protection. The knowledgeable opticians at CentraCare Optical can help you select the appropriate eyewear.