As the new school year begins and kids start fall sports, it can be easy to forget about eye protection. Whether it be football, volleyball, soccer or tennis, kids’ eyes are at risk for injury if they aren’t wearing some form of protective eyewear. Eye injuries are serious, but they can be avoided. Using goggles, eye guards, safety glasses or performance sport lenses will decrease the likelihood of your child experiencing an eye injury while playing sports, plus it will give you the peace of mind that your child is safe. Find out what options are available for eye protection and how they will safeguard your child’s eyes during fall sports this year with this guide!
We need our eyes to see and understand the world around us, but they can be easily damaged if we’re not careful. Kids and teenagers are especially at risk for damaged eyesight as the new school year begins and they spend a majority of their time outdoors playing sports. The sun is the most serious threat to our eye health and it can cause a lot of problems when we don’t safeguard ourselves against sun exposure. The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays all day every day, even if it’s cloudy outside. These UV rays are particularly harmful on sunny days and when reflecting off of glass, water or snow. This is one of the most important reasons why kids should be wearing some form of eye protection while they’re outside playing sports. Another reason why eye protection is essential, especially during activity, is to prevent accidental injury. With contact sports, like football and soccer, your child is at a higher risk for an eye injury if they’re not wearing protection. Sports like volleyball and tennis, which use flying sports balls to play, also increase your child’s chances of injuring their eyes if they get hit. Sports, along with the damaging effects of sun exposure, leave your child vulnerable to eye conditions and injuries that are completely preventable with protective eyewear. Even if it may not be “popular” or “cool” for your teenager to wear eye protection during physical activity, it may be the best option for them to maintain their visual health.
Did you know that eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States? Most of these injuries are sports-related, and 90% of them can be prevented with the use of protective eyewear. Unfortunately, many youth sports leagues and schools do not require protective eyewear as part of the uniform, but as this issue has brought more awareness to the necessity of eye protection, more and more parents are insisting that protective eyewear be a requirement for sports. Ordinary sunglasses, prescription glasses and contacts do not protect your child from eye injuries; they are not built from sturdy materials made for physical contact and break easily. In this case, wearing something is not better than nothing; your child is at risk for an eye injury if they play a sport with their regular glasses, especially if they aren’t wearing safety goggles over them. The following section will explain what type of sports eyewear you should buy, what they’re made out of and how they function to protect your child’s eyes.
When playing a sport, it’s essential to buy the proper type of eye protection to get the most bang for your buck. Sports eyewear is designed to keep up with your active child and withstand rough play, impact and the sun. Protective eyewear includes safety goggles, glasses, safety shields, and eye guards, and each have their own personal benefits depending on which sport your child is playing. To start, let’s begin with the lenses themselves. For proper protection, you’ll want a lens that is lightweight and durable enough to withstand impact from falls, other athletes and balls. Polycarbonate or trivex lenses are the best lenses out there as they have built-in UV protection and are impact-resistant. You can even get polarized lenses to reduce glare from rain and shiny surfaces, and you can opt for anti-scratch or anti-glare tints and coatings that improve vision clarity while playing. Sport frames are just as important as the lenses because they hold the eyewear in place while you’re moving. Make sure to get frames that are comfortable, lightweight and don’t press into the face. Depending on the sport, it might be best to wear goggles instead of sports sunglasses if certain weather conditions, like rain or snow, will be a major part of the activity. Some frames even come with grips and nose pads to prevent slippage, especially when perspiring. These can be great additions to your child’s sports eyewear if they sweat a lot when playing. Before you go and spend a lot of money on eye protection, make sure to schedule a consultation with your child’s optician so that they can evaluate their eye, vision and athletic needs for the best fit.
At Peeper’s Optical, we care about your family’s visual needs and can fit your child with the best form of eye protection so that they’ll be comfortable and safe while playing their favorite sport. If your child needs prescription eyewear, there are options for eye protection that can include their prescription so that they can see clearly, as well. Call our office at (303) 333-2800 to schedule a consultation and prepare your kid for their next athletic event!