Keeping Kids’ Eyes Safe from Sports-Related Injuries
May 10, 2013 - 3:12:32 PM
Each year, more than 600,000 eye injuries occur, according to the National Eye Institute. The most recent studies show that 24 percent of eye injuries are sports-related and of the severity that require a visit to an emergency room. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), in 2010, someone went to the hospital for an eye-related injury every 13 minutes. More than nine out of 10 sports-related eye injuries can actually be prevented, though (according to Prevent Blindness America), and parents can keep their kids' eyes safe from the harms of sports by adopting a couple of easy practices. One of the best ways is to have the proper eyewear: ASTM-certified Sports Protective Eyewear.
Kids shouldn't wear regular optical glasses or sunglasses while playing sports. This may seem strange, but glasses that aren't rated for impact can actually cause more harm than good, and typical sunglasses do not provide adequate protection. Instead, parents should talk with their eye doctors about impact performance tested-and-approved sports frames and lenses. This eyewear is designed to take the impacts of sports without shattering. Two other things to look for include UV protection and the ASTM F803 approval. These two features will maximize physical protection without sacrificing sun protection and should be a staple of your children's sports gear.
Most parents don't know that there are actually many different types of sports-related eye injuries, and some are more obvious than others. You may not necessarily see a corneal abrasion (painful scrape or scratch on the cornea), inflamed irises or detached retinas, but if your child is complaining of eye pain or visual impairment, you should see an eye doctor promptly. Injuries like fractures of the eye socket, blunt traumas, penetrating injuries and traumatic cataracts (causing blood to spill into the eye's anterior chamber) tend to be a bit more obvious and should be treated immediately.
Any activity involving throwing, kicking or hitting a ball presents a risk for eye injuries, as does any sport with swinging objects (such as a baseball bat or hockey stick). For younger children, baseball actually causes the most eye injuries. For adults, basketball is the most dangerous sport overall. It's also important to remember that while sports equipment can do serious damage, so can elbows, hands and feet. Soccer eye injuries are also the fastest growing segment of sports-related eye injuries. If you think that your child should wear contacts instead of glasses during the game, you should still outfit them with safety glasses or goggles. Even with contacts, getting hit in the eye can still do damage, and using gear that directly covers the eye ultimately provides the best protection. To determine if your child is ready for contacts, talk with your eye doctor.
Finally, if you are concerned that your child is not performing well in a sport because of an existing eye injury or problem, you should consult your eye doctor. If there has been an eye injury in the past or if your child struggles with other visual tasks, such as squinting while watching TV, this may be an indicator of an eye problem. Some kids just aren't coordinated, of course, but if you think that there is an actual issue with the visual system, you should immediately make an appointment with an eye doctor to discuss.
By following these important, yet simple, recommendations, parents can not only cheer for their kids from the sidelines without any hesitation, but they can also rest assured that they have completed all of the necessary steps to protect their kids against sports-related eye injuries. Time to play ball!
For more information on sports and the eyes, visit www.vsp.com.
For advertising and promotion on HealthNewsDigest.com, call or email Mike McCurdy at: 877-634-9180 or email@example.com.We are syndicated worldwide and have over 7,000 journalists as subscribers who may use our content for their own media.