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Eye Health and Sport Safety

Jun 1, 2024 | Children's Eye Health

Summer is nearly here, and kids are excited to go out and play! But with this, we need to ensure that their eyes and vision are kept safe. Eye injuries are a major cause of vision loss in children. In fact, some sports place your child’s eye safety at higher risk than others. According to the National Eye Institute1, sports such as baseball, softball, basketball, tennis, field hockey, and paintball, amongst others, can put kids at risk of a major eye injury. Sporting equipment moving at a high velocity or high contact sports can increase eye trauma, pain, vision loss, or disease. So, check out our tips for keeping your kids safe when they are out playing! 

Proper Eye Protection 

Ensuring that your child wears eye protection when playing their sport (or sports) of choice will help to keep their vision safe. This eyewear could be sports glasses or safety goggles made from polycarbonate that can prevent serious eye diseases such as retinal detachment which could potentially result in vision loss2. These safety glasses can be fitted with your child’s prescription, so they are seeing clearly while being protected. Even if your child wears contact lenses, a pair of safety glasses is a good idea to keep them safe from a traumatic eye injury. If an eye injury does occur, be sure to contact your optometrist right away as they can treat you quickly without having to visit the ER! 

UV Protection 

Keeping your child’s eyes safe from harmful UV rays is always a good idea, especially in the Colorado summer. The lens of a child’s eye allows 70% more UV rays to enter it than an adult’s eye lens. The sun and UV rays can cause burns and even permanently hurt your child’s vision if you are not properly protected3, so wearing sunglasses can keep your child’s vision in tip-top shape! Sunglasses should2:  

  • Block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation.  
  • Screen out 75 to 90% visible light.  
  • Have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection.  
  • Have lenses that are gray or brown depending on the preference.   

Be sure that the lenses your child is using are durable and made of a strong material like polycarbonate so that they can withstand the impact associated with sports. If your child needs vision correction, consider visiting your optometrist for an annual comprehensive eye exam to have sunglasses made with their prescription or have them fitted for a brand of contact lenses that offer UV protection—perfect for everyday use!   

Vision Exam 

To ensure your child has the best chance of enjoying sports and staying safe when playing, take them to visit an optometrist for their annual comprehensive eye exam! If a child is not seeing everything clearly, the risk of injury is increased. Optometrists can offer your child vision correction through stylish glasses or contacts that should be worn during play and regular life. Did you know that optometrists not only check vision and offer corrective lenses as needed, but they can also screen for over 270 diseases, keeping your little one healthy? An optometrist visit is the perfect way to ensure the whole family is able to play on this summer! If you are looking for an optometrist near you, contact our office today to schedule an appointment!


  1. https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/nei-for-kids/sports-and-your-eyes 
  1. https://icrcat.com/en/eye-health/athletes/#:~:text=How%20should%20athletes%20protect%20their%20vision%3F,-Protection%20against%20sunlight&text=The%20use%20of%20protective%20sunglasses,the%20retina%20or%20the%20macula
  1. https://www.abckidseyes.com/blog/protecting-your-childrens-eyes-from-sun-damage 
  1. https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/caring-for-your-eyes/uv-protection?sso=y