(Press Release) As children head back to school, the annual report from Prevent Blindness on sports-related eye injuries calls out in particular the risks youth face while engaged in sports and play.

It states that 34,746 sports-related eye injuries were suffered in 2016 — an increase of nearly 10 percent from 2015. Regular eyeglasses that break by accidental contact from balls and playmates are a leading cause of these injuries. Sports and play are too tough for everyday eyewear.

While water and pool activities still top the list, popular sports like soccer, football, racquet sports remain risky to eyesight, particularly for children wearing glasses. In particular, 8,224 serious eye injuries occurred on basketball courts and baseball diamonds in the most recent year studied. Additionally, two increasing concerns are eye injuries suffered on playgrounds and while bicycling which both increased dramatically, 22 percent and 76 percent respectively.

Prevent Blindness encourages parents to ask their family eyecare professional, “What are the best ways to protect my child’s eyes?” Sport Protective Eyewear is the second pair of glasses that every child needs. Readily available at most vision care centers, Liberty Sport F8 and Rec Specs Sport Protective eyewear are independently certified to American Standard Testing Materials (ASTM) F803 sport eye safety impact standards.

Ninety percent of eye injuries can be prevented with appropriate sport protective eyewear. See first-hand the durability of F803 frames by searching “Hands-on Liberty Sport” on YouTube. Liberty Sport offers a full range of F803 Sport Protective eyewear, including Helmet Spex and Sport Shift frames that are specifically engineered to solve the issue of under-helmet fit and the needs of multisport athletes.

For eyecare professionals as they care for active youth in the back to school season, Liberty has partnered with Prevent Blindness to provide information and materials through the ‘September is Sports Eye Injury Prevention Awareness Month’ Campaign. This includes an updated "Sports-related Eye Injuries by Age" Stat sheet from Prevent Blindness and the ABO Course: Protecting your patients who are athletes.

"A challenge faced by all ECPs has been prescribing comfortable, protective performance eyewear to be worn by helmeted athletes. If uncomfortable or fogging issues occur, the outcome is an athlete who faces an obstacle above and beyond the inherent demands of their sport. Helmet Spex and Sport Shift, with the anti-fog technology of FogBlok, are the performance-based solutions to this long-standing dilemma," said Dr. Alan Reichow, OD, MEd, FAAO.

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