Liberty Sport, a leading manufacturer of sports eyewear for children, has investigated sports eye injuries among children. What they and the National Eye Institute report is that eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States and most injuries occurring in school-aged children are sports-related.1 These injuries account for an estimated 100,000 physician visits per year at a cost of more than $175 million. There are more than 25,000 physician visits per year for sports eye injuries.
The majority of these injuries occur in baseball/softball, basketball and in water. Currently, most leagues do not require protective eyewear. Sports goggles or a face shield could be worn to protect the eyes from injury. Polycarbonate is 10 times stronger than regular plastic. Goggles are designed to protect the eye and the orbit from injury as opposed to standard plastic sunglasses.
Parents and coaches need to advocate for eye safety in sports by encouraging proper eye safety gear!
Harrison, A., & Telander, D.G. (2002). Eye Injuries in the youth athlete: a case-based approach. Sports Medicine, 31(1), 33-40.
For more information, visit: https://www.preventblindness.org/sports-eye-safety