Children and Sports
Increasing numbers of children are participating in sports at an early age. It is the responsibility of the parents and coaches to provide protective eyewear and enforce its use. Some sports in which children should be made to use protective eyewear are:
Eye safety at home and in the yard
To provide the safest environment for your children:
- Select games and toys that are appropriate for your child’s age and responsibility level.
- Provide adequate supervision and instruction when your children are handling potentially dangerous items, such as pencils, scissors and pen knives. Be aware that even common household items such as paper clips, elastic cords, wire coat hangers, rubber bands and fishhooks can cause serious eye injury.
- Avoid projectile toys such as darts and bows and arrows. Do not allow your children to play with air powered rifles, pellet guns. They are extremely dangerous and have been reclassified as firearms and removed from toy departments.
- Keep all chemicals and sprays out of reach of small children.
- Do not allow children to ignite fireworks or stand near others who are doing so. All fireworks are potentially dangerous for children of any age.
- Do not allow children in the yard while a lawnmower is being operated. Stones and debris thrown from moving blades can cause severe eye injuries.
- Demonstrate the use of protective eyewear to children by always wearing protective eyewear yourself while using power tools, rotary mowers, line lawn trimmers or hammering on metal.
When participating in shop or some science labs, students should wear protective goggles.
General eye safety for children
Children with good vision in only one eye should wear safety glasses to protect the good eye even if they do not need glasses otherwise. These lenses should be made of polycarbonate (an especially strong, shatterproof, lightweight plastic) and be 3 mm thick. Choosing a plastic or polycarbonate frame will reduce the risk of injury from the frames themselves. Frames which meet the ANSI standards offer the best available protection for general spectacle wear. Prescription lenses can be fitted into some types of sports goggles, but frames without any lenses do not provide adequate protection.
When an eye injury does occur, it is always best to have an ophthalmologist (eye physician and surgeon), or other medical doctor examine the eye as soon as possible. The seriousness of an eye injury may not be immediately obvious.