Eye Safety for Children

kids playing soccer

June is National Safety Month. Learn about protecting your children from eye injuries and keeping them safe all year-round.

Sports are on their way back! Organized outdoor sports have returned as of just this month, and with them come lots of opportunities for eye injury. While baseball and other sports involving a smaller ball moving at higher speeds seem like the most common for eye injury, some studies have shown that some of the highest numbers of eye injuries in children came from basketball! Volleyball, martial arts and high-contact sports also present high numbers of eye injuries.

girl at the eye doctor taking a vision test

It is vital to acknowledge the risks to your eyes when participating in any sport or sports-related activity and to take appropriate measures. Dr. Steven Rhee of Hawaiian Eye Center states, “We don’t always think about it from day to day, but the importance of using protective eyewear when participating in recreational activities cannot be overstated. Far too quickly, a fun afternoon can be turned into a trip to the emergency room.” It is estimated that 90% of sports-related injuries could be prevented through appropriate protective eyewear. Regular corrective glass lenses are not proper eye protection for most sports and can even cause more injury if they shatter. Each year eye injuries from sports send an estimated 42,000 people to the emergency room each year and 1 in every 3 sports-related eye injuries involve children. Each year, 13,500 people lose their sight entirely due to sports-related injuries.

Polycarbonate goggles and face shields are shatter-resistant options for a wide variety of activities. Basketball, racquet sports, soccer, and field hockey are just some of the sports for which polycarbonate lenses are suggested. 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. Read the full guidelines about protective eyewear for sports and activities for additional details.

boy playing basketball

If you do suffer from an eye injury while participating in a sport or activity, EVEN if it appears minor, seek medical attention immediately. Long-lasting damage to the eye can result from delayed medical attention. Protect your sight and your ability to fully enjoy the world around you. Eyes, which are used every day by most, can be fragile and vulnerable. If you have limited vision or any condition in one eye, “Consider the value of sight and risk of life-changing injury each time you engage in a sport or recreational activity, and make the choice to protect yourself through appropriate eyewear” (Dr. Steven Rhee, Hawaiian Eye Center).

Preventative measures are always recommended for eye care, so whether you’re in ship shape or have had eye health concerns before, visit Hawaiian Eye Center and care for your eyes! Learn more or schedule an appointment at hawaiianeye.com.

Steven Rhee, D.O., is a board-certified ophthalmologist at Hawaiian Eye Center. Hawaiian Eye’s dedicated doctors and support staff are committed to educating the public about the importance of preventative eye care. To learn more about a variety of eye health issues, please call 621-8448 or visit hawaiianeye.com. “For over 44 years, life has never looked better.”

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