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Sports Eye Safety Month – September 2023

The Sports Eye Safety Month celebrated in September every year is a special month founded by The American Academy of Ophthalmology and is aimed at educating people about the prevention and treatment of sports eye injuries. Did you know that thousands of people deal with sports-related eye injuries every year? Nearly 30,000 sports-related eye injuries are treated in the U.S. emergency rooms each year. However, the good news is that 90% of serious eye injuries could be prevented by wearing appropriate protective eyewear. So, what exactly is Sports Eye Safety Month and how can we stay safe? Read on.

History of Sports Eye Safety Month

Most outdoor sports involve projectiles that are the biggest risk of injury. This includes eye injuries that can occur while playing basketball, baseball, and racquet sports. Prevention and quick action are the keys to protecting your eyes. Ensuring proper vision while having proper eye protection for the sport is what keeps you safe.

So, we need to understand that different activities have different levels of risk for eye injury. This means we need to ensure that we use the right kind of eye protection for each activity — the regular eyeglasses that we use do not offer proper protection and can make the injury worse if they shatter. Sports eye safety doesn’t end with the players; even if you’re a spectator, you need to be careful. Balls, bats, or players can end up in the stands at any time. So, watch out for those unidentified flying objects!

If you think you have injured your eye or your child complains of eye pain during or after a game, seek immediate care from an ophthalmologist or primary care physician. Moreover, if you already have reduced vision in one eye, consider the risk of injuring your other eye before participating in a high-risk sport. Also, always consider the risks before participating in potentially harmful activities and learn about proper precautions ahead of time.

Sports Eye Safety Month timeline

1200 B.C.
The Introduction of Fencing Masks

Egyptians use a special type of mask for competing in fencing.

1877
First Catcher’s Mask in Baseball

James Tying becomes the first baseball player to use a catcher’s mask.

1965
The Skiing Goggles

Robert Earl Smith invents and patents double-lens, anti-fog ski goggles.

1984
Protective Visor in Football

Mark Mullaney of the Minnesota Vikings becomes the first N.F.L. player to use a visor.

Sports Eye Safety Month FAQs

How to protect your eyes during sports?

There are many types of protective eye gear for sports including safety goggles, face guards, and special eyewear designed for specific sports. Remember that regular eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contacts don’t protect you from eye injuries.

In what sport do you need eye protection?

Although not all sports require it, it is safer to wear eye protection. A few where you would benefit from having safety glasses are football, baseball, basketball, racquetball, tennis, pickleball, and archery.

Is eyewear important in sports?

Yes, proper eyewear is important in sports. The risk of eye damage is lowered and the player’s performance is enhanced with the ability to see better. Many athletic clubs do not allow members to participate without proper eye gear.

How to Observe Sports Eye Safety Month

  1. Spread the word

    The best thing you can do to celebrate Sports Eye Safety Month is by spreading awareness. Educate your kids, family, friends, and colleagues about the importance of eye safety in sports.

  2. Use safety goggles

    If you truly want to observe Sports Eye Safety Month, you can buy safety equipment like safety goggles or face shields. These can give almost complete protection to your eyes and face.

  3. Share your story

    If you’re someone who has any bitter experience with sports-related eye injuries or has avoided such injuries with the use of eye safety equipment and precautions, you can share it with the world through social media. Raise awareness about this important issue.

5 Unknown Facts About Sports Eye Safety

  1. Protective wear is effective

    90% of sports-related eye injuries can be prevented with protective eyewear.

  2. The most common eye injuries

    Blunt injuries, corneal abrasions, and penetrating injuries are the most common eye injuries.

  3. It mustn’t be taken lightly

    Eye injuries are at the top of the list of causes of blindness in children.

  4. It’s more common than you think

    Every 13 minutes, an E.R. in the U.S. treats a sports-related eye injury.

  5. Kids ages 11 to 14

    Most eye injuries among kids aged 11 to 14 are sports-related.

Why Sports Eye Safety Month is Important

  1. We need this day

    Sports Eye Safety Month is a much-needed month that emphasizes eye safety while enjoying our favorite sports. Awareness about sports-related eye safety can even save millions of people from serious eye damage.

  2. It is not only for sportsmen

    Sports Eye Safety Month is an awareness month that is for everyone. Even if you are a spectator, there is a risk of getting permanent eye damage. So, eye safety is important for sportsmen and spectators alike.

  3. It promotes research

    Coming together and observing this month not only helps raise awareness but also contributes to promoting research. It also promotes funding to find a better way to ensure and practice eye safety while playing sports.

Sports Eye Safety Month dates

YearDateDay
2023September 1Friday
2024September 1Sunday
2025September 1Monday
2026September 1Tuesday
2027September 1Wednesday
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