If you’re a parent of a school-aged child who participates in sports, you know the anxiety that comes with watching your child on the baseball field, basketball court, or hockey rink. It’s mostly exciting, but in the back of your mind you’re hoping that your child plays smart and stays injury-free.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Each year, tens of thousands of sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year. The up-side to that statistic is that 90% of serious eye injuries are preventable with the use of protective eyewear.
Did you know that the month of April has been declared Eye Sports Safety Month by The American Academy of Ophthalmology? With baseball season just beginning, April is a great time to encourage your child to have fun on the field, and VisionFirst would like to remind you of some preventative steps you can take to ensure your child’s safety. After all, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports.
Baseball moms, listen up! The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all baseball players wear a helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield. This type of helmet is also recommended for ice hockey. Hockey facemasks should be approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
If your child plays basketball, a racquet sport, soccer, or field hockey, a protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses is recommended. Choose eye protectors that have been tested to meet the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards or that pass the CSA racquet sports standard.
Seek Treatment for Eye-related Injuries
If your child has suffered an injury to the eye, have a doctor examine the eye as soon as possible.
Here are some tips for recognizing an eye injury:
- The child has obvious pain or trouble seeing.
- The child has a cut or torn eyelid.
- One eye does not move as well as the other.
- One eye sticks out compared to the other.
- The eye has an unusual pupil size or shape.
- There is blood in the clear part of the eye.
- The child has something in the eye or under the eyelid that can’t be easily removed.
- Don’t touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye.
- Do not try to remove the object stuck in the eye.
- Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye.
VisionFirst is committed to helping our patients SEE, LOOK, and FEEL their best year-round, and we support the AAO’s recommendations for preventing and treating eye-related injuries. If your child is playing sports and you want to learn more about how to protect their eyes from serious injury, please make an appointment at one of our 14 area locations. We will be happy to examine your child and recommend the appropriate protective wear for them. Good luck this season!