April is official Sports Eye Safety Awareness month! With the summer months ahead, I thought I’d go over the importance of protecting your eyes. Children should always wear protective glasses, and wearing their current everyday glasses isn’t enough. They should be specific to the sport they are participating in, and be comfortable to wear. Additionally, the lenses should be made of a polycarbonate material, which studies have shown to be the most shatter resistant.
According to the National Eye Institute, sports eye injuries bring children to the emergency room every 13 minutes in the United States. The most common sports injury to the eye in children under 14 are caused by baseballs, while in those aged 15-24, basketballs are the culprit.
So what happens if an injury occurs?
- Please do not touch, rub, or apply pressure to the eye.
- Please don’t even try to put in a medication or ointment.
- Do not remove any foreign objects stuck in the eye.
- If dust or debris is involved, the eye may be rinsed.
- If the eye is cut, you may shield the eye until they get medical attention.
- If there was a blow to the eye, you may apply a cold compress for swelling but not pressure.
After the initial situation is under control, please contact an eye care professional for follow up care. If there is a black eye, pain, or visual disturbance after even a light blow, contact the emergency room right away. Please have a safe and enjoyable summer sports season!