Sports Eye Health Safety Month: How To Protect Your Child's Vision From Sport Injury

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Sports Eye Health Safety Month: How To Protect Your Child's Vision From Sport Injury

Children’s involvement in sports is a great way to encourage physical activity, curate interest in after-school activities, and develop friendships with other children who have similar pastimes. An important part of participating in sports is wearing all of the appropriate safety equipment, including safety glasses. While many people seem to overlook this part of sporting gear, it is incredibly important for protecting the delicate eyes. Any sports with physical contact, high-speed implements, or risk of blunt force trauma put the players at risk of eye injury and children should wear protective eye gear to safeguard against accidents. Remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry and wearing eye protection is a simple way to prevent injury.

Have Your Children Wear Eye Protection To Avoid Eye Emergencies

Why Is Protective Eyewear Important?

Eye injuries are often highly avoidable and when they do occur they can lead to permanent vision loss. Many people will ensure their children are wearing other protective gear such as helmets, knee pads, shin guards, and more and yet forget about the eyes; one of the most delicate parts of the body. Some people think that if their child wears glasses these will be enough to protect the eyes when in reality eyeglass lenses cannot withstand the same impact that safety glasses can, and regular eyeglasses can break and cause even more severe damage to the eyes. Children who wear glasses or contacts during sports are actually more likely to suffer from eye injuries than those who don’t. There are safety glasses options that account for this; you can get safety glasses that wrap around the eyeglasses or you can get prescription safety glasses.

How Can I Get My Child To Wear Protective Eyewear?

This can be a problem for parents regardless of the age of the child. Young children may have a hard time keeping the eyewear on their face, they forget to wear them, or they lose them. Older children may also put up resistance if they think the protective gear is not cool, similar to how many young people don’t wear helmets while skateboarding or riding a bike. There are several ways to overcome these obstacles. For young children, get them used to their safety glasses by ensuring they wear them every time they play or get an elastic band to help the glasses stay in place. If your child gets used to wearing safety gear at a young age, it will just be second nature as they get older. You can also tell their coach that you want your child to wear safety glasses when they play and ask them to help reinforce this message. For older children, you may want to make the safety glasses as appealing as possible by letting them pick out the style they want. You should also emphasize the importance of protecting the eyes to avoid an eye emergency. Teach your child about eye injury to help them to understand the importance of eye protection.

What Do I Do If My Child Suffers An Eye Injury?

If your child suffers an eye injury or impact to or around the eye, go to an optometrist right away. While they might not be showing intense symptoms, there can be serious damage to the back of the eye that may not be immediately noticeable. Find a clinic that offers eye emergency services if your child has experienced blunt force trauma to the eye or if they:

  • Are in pain
  • Have a swollen eyelid
  • Have blurred or doubled vision
  • Have cuts on the eyelid or eyebrow
  • Are unable to move their eye
  • Suddenly see lots of floaters
  • See an effect like grey sheer fabric over their vision

If there is blood or other obvious injuries, go to the ER.

Eye Emergency Services in Calgary

If your child has suffered an eye injury during their sporting activity come to Specs in the City in SE Calgary right away. The sooner an eye emergency is treated the more likely your optometrist is to be able to save your child’s vision. At Specs in the City, our friendly and calming pediatric optometrists can appropriately treat your child, even during a stressful event like an eye emergency. If you think your child has suffered an eye injury, do not attempt to fix the situation yourself as it may worsen their condition. Try to keep your child from rubbing or touching their eye. For emergency care, visit Specs in the City Optometry or call us at 1-403-252-2020.


Q: Are eye emergencies covered by Alberta Health?
A: Yes, all eye emergencies are covered by Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP).

Q: What are considered eye emergencies?
A: Some of the most common eye emergencies that require immediate care include:

  • Foreign body in the eye
  • Eye trauma/injury
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Scratched cornea
  • Eye infections
  • Eye burns/allergies
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Sore, red, or itchy eyes

Q: Do all eye injuries lead to loss of vision?
A: No, vision loss will depend on the severity of the injury, how fast it is treated, and how your child recovers. If your child has any type of eye injury, it’s safest to assume that it is an eye emergency and seek immediate treatment but that does not mean they will lose vision in the affected eye.

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