Playing sports of any kind in regular glasses can be hazardous to your teen’s eyesight. Besides the fact that those expensive glasses may get broken, broken lenses pose a definite risk to your child’s vision. Be sure to choose the right eyewear to protect your teen during sports.
Facts about Sport Eye Injuries
- During racquet sports, the ball regularly travels at speeds of 60 mph or more
- The danger in basketball usually comes from opposing player’s fingers and elbows.
- Hockey pucks can reach speeds of more than 100 mph. Eye injuries are most common for goalies who stand in the line of fire for the entire game.
- Handball and paintball are two of the most dangerous sports for eyes.
Follow League Rules
Some sports leagues and school districts have adopted rules and guidelines for safety equipment, including face and eye protection. Before you buy sports eyewear, be sure you are in compliance with these rules.
Sport Specific Frames
Each sport needs frames that are specifically designed to minimize the dangers characteristic of that sport. Frames should:
- Be made of a high-impact resistant material like polycarbonate
- Have rubber cushioning for the head or nose for comfort and a secure fit
Teenagers are less likely to wear their safety glasses if they don’t feel comfortable.
A contoured, wrap style of frame is excellent for biking and other outdoor activities because they offer more protection from wind and dust and are good for teens who wear contact lenses. However, the wrap style isn’t appropriate for all sports.
Sports eyewear lenses are typically made of polycarbonate because this material is resistant to high impact. Be aware, though, that there is no such thing as a lens that is completely impact proof.
Sport lenses should offer UV protection and have a scratch-resistant coating. Teens who play outdoor sports could also benefit from tinted lenses, such as yellow, gold or amber, that help to reduce glare in bright sunlight.
Sport goggles offer better protection and are usually easier to fit under helmets and other protective gear. Goggles are good if your teen wears contacts, because they protect the eyes and lenses from wind and debris. Be sure the goggles you buy are approved for the sport your teen is participating in such as swimming, diving and other water sports.
Get a Perfect Fit
Both safety glasses and goggles must be specifically fitted to each athlete. Teens may still be growing so be sure to check their eyewear for proper fit every year.
Safety eyewear needs to fit properly at the time of purchase. Never choose some that they will “grow into.” Eyewear that is too big will slip and move around, leaving eyes vulnerable and obstructing your child’s vision. Too small eyewear will pinch and be so uncomfortable that they will most likely not be worn.
If a strap is used to hold glasses in place, make sure that it, too, is properly fit. The wider the strap, the less likely it is to bind and it will stay in place better, too.