Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children, and most eye injuries incurred by those ages 11 to 14 happen while they are playing sports. Every 13 minutes, an emergency room in the United States treats a sports-related eye injury. Of the estimated 2 million Americans who sustain eye injuries each year, approximately 40,000 will go on to be considered legally blind in the injured eye.
August is “Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.” This is not only a good time to get your child’s eyes checked before school starts, but it is also a good time to ensure that they are protecting their eyes while playing sports.
Many youth sports teams don’t require eye protection, so parents should insist that their children wear safety glasses or goggles when playing. Parents can also set a good example by wearing protective eyewear themselves. The following graphic shows the type of protective eyewear that should be worn while playing popular sports.