Glasses to Wear During Sports for Kids

by Lee Grayson
Encourage your children to wear the proper safety equipment for the sport.

Encourage your children to wear the proper safety equipment for the sport.

According to the Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries, protective eye wear designed specifically for the sport can prevent more than 90 percent of all eye injuries. Glasses, goggles, face shields and helmet attachments offer kids protection from eye injuries during school sports and physical education classes. The type of eye protection and proper fit, however, mean the difference between safety and an eye injury. Selecting the right glasses may require a trip to the eye doctor to ensure the correct match of glasses to your child's age, physical size and facial shape.

Eye Protection and Sports

Popular sports including soccer, basketball, football, baseball and golf pose a risk of eye damage for children. While the danger in some high-risk sports such as paintball, boxing and fencing appears obvious, the perceived low risk for children playing water polo, volleyball, tennis and badminton may not motivate parents to buy protective eye wear for kids involved in these sports. The American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children wear specialized glasses designed to protect against eye injury for most sports. Kids may resist wearing the equipment, but children should begin the sports season with proper safety equipment and training to wear the eye protection.

Glasses Types

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) eye-protection guidelines divide protectors into several types, including lens and frame as an integrated unit; single lens placed into a frame; protectors without any lens; and face shields. Each style has specific directions for wear, and failure to follow these recommendations can mean injury. Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully to select the correct type, grouped into categories labeled I through IV, and follow the directions included with the eye-protection device for proper wear.

Personal Glasses

Regular prescription glasses and sunglasses fail to protect the eyes against injury during sports activities. Street glasses, in fact, expose your child to an increased risk for eye damage, according to the Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries. Proper eye gear meets the standards outlined in the ASTM Standards F803, including eye protectors made from polycarbonate lenses designed for use over prescription glasses worn during sports play.

Instruction and Practice

Ask your child to practice wearing the equipment so you can correct any mistakes in attaching or using the eye protection. Talk to your child's physical education teacher, coach or sports supervisor to make sure your child uses the protective eye gear during play. Duplicate a copy of the wearing instructions so an adult can help your child with the glasses before practice or on game days. Encourage the parents of children on your child's team to also use sports glasses. Your child will feel more comfortable wearing the special glasses if other children also use protective eye wear.

About the Author

*I have written chapters and articles for Oxford and Harvard University Presses, ABC-CLIO, and others. Arcadia Press published two of my local history texts and I have also written for numerous "article sites," including Pagewise in 2002. My "How to become a...real estate agent" is available as an online text from a Canadian publisher. *I taught writing courses at a branch campus of Indiana University. *I held a California real estate license and have remodeled four of my own homes and advised others on financing homes, repairing credit to qualify for loans, and managing construction (including meeting local, state, and federal regulations for restoration and development grants). *I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer and wrote nearly $75,000 in small education grants (under $1,000). *My travels include frequent road trips in Canada, Mexico, U.S., and Europe. I attended school at Cambridge University and used this as a base to explore the UK and Europe.

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