Bet you didn’t know April is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month? Check out the following safety tips for your athlete at home. Eye protection, just like helmets and other safety gear, is a must for many sports.
- Facemasks or polycarbonate guards or shields that attach to a helmet are worn in sports such as football, ice hockey, and softball and baseball when batting.
- Goggles are often worn for soccer, basketball, racquet sports, snowboarding, street hockey, baseball, and softball when fielding.
- If your child wears glasses, you’ll probably need prescription polycarbonate goggles.
- All eye protection should fit securely and have cushions above your eyebrows and over your nose.
Here are a few common injuries, and how to treat them. Keep in mind that although most sports eye injuries are minor, a few could require medical attention.
Black Eye – Although typically a minor injury, a black eye can also appear when there is significant eye injury or head trauma. A visit to the doctor may be required to rule out serious injury, particularly if you’re not certain of the cause of the black eye. What to do:
- Apply cold compresses intermittently. If you use ice, make sure it’s covered with a towel to protect the delicate skin on the eyelid.
- Prop your child’s head with an extra pillow at night, and encourage him or her to sleep on the uninjured side of the face. Call your doctor, who may recommend an evaluation to rule out damage to the eye.
Irritations – You can treat most minor eye irritations by flushing the eye with water. Remember to wash your hands before examining or flushing your child’s eye. Do not try to remove any foreign body except by flushing, because of the risk of scratching the surface of the eye. If a foreign body is not dislodged by flushing, it will probably be necessary for a medical professional to flush the eye.
Embedded Foreign Object – If an object, such as a piece of glass or metal, is sticking out of the eye, take your child to the emergency room. Keep your child – and yourself – as calm and comfortable as possible until you can get help.
Seek Emergency Care If Your Child Has:
- Trouble Seeing
- Been Exposed to Chemicals
- Something Embedded in the Eye
- Severe Eye Pain
- Blood in the Eye
- Nausea or Vomiting After an Eye Injury
Remember, the equipment your child wears while participating in sports is key to ensuring your child has a fun – and safe – game. Talk to your kids about sports safety and how to prevent injuries.