Helmets are worn to protect heads during sports, pads are worn to protect bones and joints and mouth guards are worn to protect teeth, so why not take the extra step to protect our eyes?
Broken bones and bruises will heal, but a serious eye injury such as a scratched cornea or a fractured eye socket can last a lifetime.
How Do I Protect My Eyes While Playing Sports?
If your child enjoys playing sport, there are unfortunately many ways an unprotected eye can be injured. However, there are also numerous ways that the eyes can be protected from injuries. To reduce the risk of a serious eye injury, the following precautions should be taken.
Rounders: This game involves hitting a ball with a bat as hard as you can and the risk of an eye injury is substantial. A helmet with a face guard should be worn at all times to prevent eye or head injury.
Basketball: While playing basketball, children and teens should wear eye goggles at all times as the risk of being elbowed or hit in the eye is great.
Football/ Rugby: Like other contact sports, an errant elbow, ball or foot can cause serious damage to unprotected eyes. Children and teens playing sports like football, soccer or rugby should wear sports eye guards or full face guards.
Hurling/ Camogie: Hurleys, sliotars and elbows all fly freely during hurling matches. Players should wear helmets with a full face guard to prevent eye and other possible facial injuries.
Tennis or badminton: To protect eyes from an errant or misjudged ball or the blow from an opponent’s racket, protective eye goggles should be worn at all times while playing these sports.
How do I know if eye gear is effective?
In order to ensure your child or teen is protected while playing sports, it’s important that eye guards and helmets are purchased at a sports or optical store.
Other suggestions for sports eye safety include:
Don't purchase eyewear that doesn't contain the correct lenses. Lenses should be secure because with many demanding sports, there is the chance that a lens may pop inward, which could scratch or damage the eye.
Eye guards should contain cushioning along the eyebrow and the edge of the nose to help prevent the athlete from any abrasions or damage to the facial area.