Eye Protection

Dr. Burke is one of Cincinnati’s most trusted resources concerning eye protection for children.

What are the likely causes of loss of vision in a child?

The two most likely causes of vision loss in children are amblyopia and eye injuries.

Where do eye injuries occur?

Accidents occur at anytime and in any place. About half of childhood eye injuries occur around the home and the other half occur in sports and recreational activities.

What around a house may be dangerous to the eyes?

Parents should supervise their children at play. Extreme care is necessary if you allow children to use darts, guns, or other toys that can shoot objects into the eye. Toys with sharp edges are dangerous. Pencils, pens, and scissors may easily scratch or penetrate the eye. Forks and knives, clothes hangers, and screwdrivers are of concern. Hammering, power drills and power saws, powered gardening tools, and lawnmowers all may propel rocks or other high speed particles toward the eyes. Household chemicals including cleaning products, bleach, and powerful soaps may cause significant irritation and possibly damage to the eyes. Never play with fireworks.

What are the sports with the greatest likelihood of eye injury?

Participating in sports requires that the parents and the child have a full understanding of the risks involved. Sports that have high velocity ball action or those that have high speed projectiles have the highest potential for eye injuries. These include racquetball, squash, hockey and field hockey, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, and soccer.
Academy of Ophthalmology Policy Statement

What kinds of eye protection are available?

For typical daily protection, impact resistant lenses with sturdy eyeglass frames are sufficient. The most frequently used protective lenses are made out of polycarbonate, a material that is extremely strong and shatter resistant. Sturdy eyeglass frames for daily wear are available in many attractive styles. Special protective eyewear including the sports frames are available for most sports. Contact lenses alone should not be the only protection used because they do not provide enough protection against injury.
Play Hard Don’t Blink, advice by Ohio Ophthalmological Society

What does it mean “living with one good eye”?

Once it has been determined that the vision can never be improved in one eye, taking care of the remaining good eye becomes extremely important. Protection of the good eye cannot be stressed enough. At any age, appropriate eye protection should be worn at all times whether it be play, school, sports, or hobbies. Protective eye wear should be worn for the remainder of one’s life, even if no prescription is necessary for improving the vision in the good eye. “Living with one good eye” also means not forgetting about maintaining the health of the good eye. Regular eye examinations by an ophthalmologist are very important to make sure the good eye remains healthy.

What high risk sporting activities should be avoided you have poor vision in one eye?

For those individuals “living with one good eye”, the high risk sporting activities that should be avoided are full contact martial arts, wrestling, and boxing.

Click the following links for additional information.
Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations