Saturday, April 28, 2012

Evil bunny sippy-cup attacks babies' eyes - reminds us that eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in kids

This evil-looking sippy cup lives up to its sinister appearance.  Imported by Target, this little menace has attacked the eyes of six babies, causing cuts and bruises to three of them.  Luckily, are no reports of any babies going blind. Apparently, the bent ear of the vicious rabbit poked the kids in the eye.

The incident reminds us that eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children.  Most of these injuries happen while playing sports.

Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in kids

Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in kids and most eye injuries among kids 11 to 14 occur while playing sports. While hockey is definitely a leading cause of eye injuries, other sports which are commonly thought of as safer and not as rough as hockey are also leading causes of eye injuries in children. Chief among these are baseball and basketball.

Baseball is a leading cause of eye injuries in children 14 and under. Research from the United Sates shows that Basketball is the leading cause of eye injuries among 15 to 24 year-olds.

The sports with the highest rates of eye injuries are baseball/softball, ice hockey, racquet sports, basketball, fencing, lacrosse, paintball and boxing .

Boys are more at risk than girls

Parents have to keep a closer eye on their boys than their girls. Boys 11-15 are five times more likely to end up in the emergency room with an eye injury than girls of the same age. Most of these injuries are sports related and related to projectiles including toys, guns, darts, sticks, stones and air guns.

What can I do to prevent the risk of eye injuries?

The first thing you can do is wear protective eye wear. The proper eye wear, made of the right materials, can prevent 90% of eye injuries. Some athletes will even play better with protective eye wear because they are less afraid of getting injured.  Polycarbonate lenses are the best for impact resistance and when they are inserted into a sports eye-wear frame your child is well protected.  Learn more about protective eye wear for children.

One of the most important things you can do is to see your optometrist for a comprehensive eye health examination. This examination can reveal pre-existing conditions that can put a child (or any athlete- even an adult) at higher risk of blindness or vision loss in the event of an impact to the eye. When you know of the risk, you can take effective precautions to mitigate it and keep your kid's eyes healthy.