Now that the weather is warming up (in my location anyway!), kids from all over are starting to participate in a variety of warm-weather sports like baseball, tennis, lacrosse, and field hockey to name a few. Unfortunately, one of the most over-looked pieces of children’s sporting equipment is protective eyewear. In fact, almost half of all sports related eye injuries happen to kids aged 16 or under, but 90% of these could be prevented with adequate eyewear.
As much as I’d like to tell you that regular shades like Matrix sunglasses will fit the bill, unfortunately this is not the case. Unless your kid is playing sports in The Matrix, he or she will need more than just Agent Smith Sunglasses or Trinity Sunglasses to protect their eyes.
In general your child should wear protective eyewear with polarized lenses for maximum impact resistance, and wrap around frames for maximum protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun. You will also want to make sure your child’s eyewear fits properly and has a strap to hold them snugly in place.
Finally, make sure you select eyewear that is appropriate for your child’s sport. Different brands specialize in sunglasses for different sports, and different sports have different ASTM eye safety standards (ASTM stands for American Society for Testing and Materials). When in doubt refer to the product’s box or instruction manual.
Here is the list of the current standards:
- ASTM F513: Covers eyewear appropriate for ice hockey
- ASTM F803: Covers eyewear appropriate for sports such as baseball, basketball, tennis, and lacrosse
- ASTM F1587: Covers eyewear appropriate for ice hockey goal tending
- ASTM F1776: Covers eyewear appropriate for paintball
The bottom line is that your child’s eyes are at risk whenever he or she plays warm weather sports, so don’t forget to buy the appropriate protective eyewear. Your kid only has one pair of eyes, so make them last!