Dr. Jim Martin 09/03/2015

4862436_orig.pngEye protection for sports has come a long way. For one, it's taken more seriously than it was, say, a couple of decades ago. For another, the types of protection have become specialized.

It's no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to sports eye protection. With each sport placing different demands on the athletes, certain types of protection are best for certain sports.
The good news is that young athletes today have many options to choose from to keep their eyes safe from harm. What follows is a list of various sports and the suggested eyewear for each.

Baseball: Children should wear a polycarbonate face guard, or other approved protection, when batting or running. Goggles with polycarbonate lenses are suggested for fielding.

Basketball: Basketball players should wear goggles with polycarbonate lenses.

Football: A football helmet with a polycarbonate shield is recommended.

Soccer: Like basketball, goggles with polycarbonate lenses are the safest bet.

Ice Hockey: Players should wear a helmet and full face protection.

Softball: The same as for baseball - polycarbonate face guards when batting or running, goggles with polycarbonate lenses for fielding.

Street Hockey: Goalies should wear a full face cage, while other players should wear goggles with polycarbonate lenses.

Lacrosse (Female): Goggles with polycarbonate lenses should be worn at a minimum, with the option of a helmet with full face protection.

Lacrosse (Male): A helmet and full-face protection are required.

Field Hockey: A full face-mask for goalies, while all others should wear goggles with polycarbonate lenses.

Why Polycarbonate?

Protective eyewear made of polycarbonate is far more impact-resistance than other plastics. Moreover, it does not reduce vision.

What Is Required For Children?

Most youth sports leagues today don't require that children use eye protection. But studies have shown that 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries could have been prevented with the proper protection. It's up to coaches and parents to insist that young athletes wear eye protection.

What About Regular Glasses?

For most children, protective eyewear can be made with their prescription. Ordinary prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses do not protect against sports injuries.

What To Look For When Buying Protective Eyewear

When shopping for protective eyewear, such as sports goggles, look for scratch resistant polycarbonate lenses that won't shatter on impact. Also, look for light and durable frames that are made of polycarbonate or plastic. Rubber inner padding can help protect the nose.

If you have questions or concerns about protecting your child's eyes – or the eyes of any athlete in your family – call Broome Optical in Amarillo.

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