The weather’s getting warmer which means New Jersey outdoor spring sports are in full swing. Whether your child is playing contact sports or just monkeying around at the playground, accidents can happen at any time and it’s best to be prepared with protective gear.
Every April, National Facial Protection Month strives to raise public awareness and remind parents, coaches and athletes to play it safe while playing sports. April is also National Eye Safety Month. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tens of thousands of sports- and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year. It is estimated that up to 75% of sport-related injuries that occur involve the head and neck areas… but the good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable through use of appropriate protective eyewear.
Accidents can Happen at Anytime, Anywhere
Although our face structure is designed to naturally protect our eyes from injuries, unexpected accidents do happen. The risk of facial injury can occur in just about any sport (baseball, softball, cycling …even running) but are most prevalent in high-risk sports such as boxing and martial arts and even activities involving sharp objects such as fishing. In fact, the U.S. Eye Injury Registry indicates that fishing is the number one cause of sports-related eye injuries.
A study recently published by the University of Alabama analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a database of injuries treated at hospital emergency departments, and found the five most common causes of childhood injuries were, in order of frequency, basketball, football, bicycling, playgrounds and soccer.
Prevent Facial Injury
Calling all MVPs! Don’t take the fun out of the game; instead, play it safe during recreational and organized sports and help prevent serious (and painful) facial injuries with these safety measures:
1. Wear protective eyewear: Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports. Make sure the level of eye protection is appropriate for the type of activity. Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection; eyewear with polycarbonate lenses that have been tested to meet the American Society of Testing and Materials standards.
2. Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports: Mouth guards are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury, and dentists and dental specialists can make customized mouth guards that hold teeth in place and allow for normal speech and breathing.
3. Wear a helmet: Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to the head.
4. Wear a face shield: Avoid contact injury to the face by wearing a facial shield. Hockey pucks, baseballs and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage no matter how old you are.
Get Immediate Attention
At eMedical Urgent Care, we provide immediate care for a variety of medical needs including minor injuries from foreign objects in the eyes, ears and nose. After work, or on weekends, we‘re here. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your schedule.