The Prevent Blindness Organization has dedicated September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month. Nearly 6,000 Americans from a sports related eye injury each year. Many of these injuries occur in children and can be easily prevented by wearing the proper eye protection. Back to school activities have not only begun in the classroom, but also on the field and in the court. Here are some simple guidelines to keeping your child’s eyes safe to stay in the game. Knowing that appropriate protective eyewear is the best defense against eye injury is key to preventing it. Parents should first consult an eye doctor to schedule their child’s annual back to school eye examination. At this time, the child will be not only be fitted with prescription eye glasses, but also for prescription sports glasses. Sports glasses contain specific protective lenses that are labeled as ASTM F803 approved. This simply means the lenses are designed to be impact resistant if hit with blunt force. Sports glasses are also padded along the nose and brow region and contain a full adjustable strap which assists in keeping them tightly secured on the head. Parents, teachers, and coaches should all make sure to promote constant wear of sports glasses during any type of prolonged physical activity. Eye injuries from sports can include but are not limited to: corneal abrasions, ecchymosis of the eyelid, fractured eye socket, muscle entrapment, retinal detachment or traumatic glaucoma. Any severe trauma to the eye can result in permanent vision loss. By following these guidelines we can easily protect our children’s vision for a lifetime. For more information about sport-specific eye protection recommendations, please visit our optical department at Chang Eye Group or call 412-429-0609 to speak to one of our eyewear consultants. Submitted by Dr. Kristi Weatherly Prevent Sports Eye Injuries