September is Sports Eye Injury Prevention Awareness Month and Back-to-School athletes need to keep their eyes safe. Did you know that accidental eye injuries are one of the leading causes of visual impairment in Canada, and that over 100,000 eye injuries occur annually?

Experts agree that more than 90% of these injuries could be prevented with simple precautions, including wearing safety glasses or protective goggles. Thankfully, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is implementing safety glasses at many workplaces. The statistics are getting better, but injuries are still occurring.

Now that kids are getting ready for back to school, they’re getting ready to play in their gym classes, recess and sports. Some parents are concerned about their children breaking their eyeglasses and have them remove their eyeglasses when playing. The catch is that without their glasses, their vision is lost. Fortunately, more and more coaches, parents and children now realize that wearing protective eye wear for sports is beneficial in so many ways. The risk of eye damage is reduced, because lenses are made with an impact resistant material (polycarbonate) and the sports goggles have different cushioning that allow for impact to be much less painful and dangerous. On top of that, the player’s performance is enhanced because they see better!

Children would sometimes hesitate at “looking funny” when they wore protective eye wear. Today, sports goggles are an accepted part of everyday life, much like the way bike helmets have become the norm. It is much more commonplace to watch a sporting event on TV and see an athlete wearing their sports goggles. Also, both children and adults like the image that wearing protective eye wear gives them: It shows they mean business on the playing field. That’s really the part the children like!

As a mom and an optician, there is nothing worse than seeing what protective eye wear could have prevented, and to wish it never happens to my child. If your child wears eyeglasses and you know that sports are starting this fall, please consider this as an option for your child. Young or old, regardless of their competitive level, an accident is an accident – and hopefully it doesn’t happen to your child.

If you’d like more information on sports goggles, or if you’d like to take a look at this for your child(ren), feel free to visit any of our locations.

For more information about this article, suggestions for future articles, or if you have questions about your family’s eye care, feel free to contact me at silvia@queenspectacle.com.

Silvia Yeomans is the owner of Queen Spectacle.  Queen Spectacle has locations in The Kingsway, Port Credit and Streetsville.  They are a full eye care team recognized for their service excellence.  For more information, visit their website at www.queenspectacle.com