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Which Sports Should Your Kids Wear Eye Protection For and Why?

Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children, with about 40,000 injuries caused by sports every year. That said, almost 90% of these injuries can be prevented by wearing the correct protective eyewear. 

What Are the Different Types of Eye Protection? 

When it comes to athletic activities, there are three types of eye protection kids can wear to reduce their risk of eye injury. 

Swim Goggles

If your child loves being in the water, the chances of them enjoying aquatic sports are pretty high. Those interested in swimming alone just need standard swimmers’ goggles to help them see underwater.

However, if they’re interested in more intense water sports that run a higher risk of injury, such as water polo, they’ll need a more durable set of goggles. Swim goggles with polycarbonate lenses not only endure impact but also resist shattering, making them much more resistant than regular goggles.

Safety Goggles

While playing outdoor sports, it’s extremely important for kids to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun. However, protecting them from eye injury overall is even more critical.

Even though regular sunglasses provide coverage, they do not completely protect a child’s eyes. It’s best to find goggles that have an impact-resistant polycarbonate lens. Even better, most of these safety goggles include built-in UV protection, protecting the wearer from the sun as well. 

There are several outdoor sports in which athletes of all ages, but especially children, should consider wearing safety goggles. Tennis, baseball, softball, basketball, and lacrosse are just a few examples. All of these sports include the risk of getting hit in the face or experiencing a head-on collision, which often result in injuries to the eye area.

Helmets with Face Guards

It’s no secret that some of the most popular sports among children and adults, such as football and hockey, run a high risk of head injuries. Helmets are required equipment to protect from injury, and most require a face shield, too.

To protect your child from even more risk, it is probably worth your while to invest in a polycarbonate face shield. You can add on these protections when it comes to other sports, such as baseball and softball. Depending on the situation and sport, safety goggles might work better than a helmet with a faceguard and vice versa. Make sure to speak with your optometrist to learn the best options for your kids and their preferred sport. 

It’s important to note that if your child regularly wears prescription glasses, they also need to wear prescription sports glasses. Wearing their regular glasses during practice or games is dangerous and puts them at higher risk for eye injury, since the lenses can easily shatter.

While sports glasses tend to cost more than traditional prescription glasses, avoiding serious eye injuries is worth it in the long run. Sports glasses help your child see better while playing, enhance their performance, and decrease their risk of eye injury overall. 

Which Sports Need Eye Protection?

It’s a safe bet to wear eye protection regardless of the sport. We all know how frequently accidents happen, especially when it comes to kids! However, according to the National Eye Institute, some sports are riskier than others.

The following sports have the highest risk of eye injury:

  • Baseball and softball
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Hockey
  • Mountain biking
  • Paintball
  • Racquetball and squash

Meanwhile, sports with moderate to low risk include:

  • Badminton
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tackle football
  • Tennis
  • Diving
  • Gymnastics
  • Road biking
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Track and field

At the end of the day, there’s no harm in wearing protective eye gear regardless of the sport your child is playing. As we mentioned earlier, accidents happen!

If you’re unsure which protective eye gear to wear or you’re interested in learning more about kids’ eye protection and sports, there’s no need to search for an eye doctor or optometrist near me. Located in Camp Hill, PA and Harrisburg, PA, Premier Eye Care Group is here to help.

Contact us today to work with eye specialists you can trust! 


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