April is one of the best times of the year to get out and enjoy the gorgeous weather that Phoenix is known for. It’s also known as Sports Eye Safety Month to help bring attention to the need for sports eye safety. Here Sports-Eye-Safety-Month are five tips that can help you and your family protect their eyes while participating in sports activities.

Tip #1 – Understand Your Risks for Eye Injury

The number one tip for sports eye safety is understanding what your risks are for an eye injury depending on your sport. For example, you are more at risk for an injury participating in basketball than you are riding your bicycle, however, you should at a minimum, wear sunglasses if riding during the day.

Tip #2 – Wear the Right Protection for the Sport You Play

For high-contact sports or sports involving hard objects like balls, pucks, bats or hockey sticks, extra eye protection is needed. A batting helmet with a polycarbonate face shield should be used to protect your eyes. If you play lacrosse or hockey, helmets with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield should be worn.

Tip #3 – Don’t Forget Sunglasses

Non-contact sports or those without balls may not require special eye protection. However, you should not forget wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, even if you are sitting on the sidelines taking a break.

Tip #4 – Choose Polycarbonate Lenses

Eye protection is nothing to skimp on. Choose eyewear made with ASTM-tested polycarbonate lenses. If you play soccer, basketball, field hockey or racquet sports, use eyewear that is CSA-tested.

Tip #5 – Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Did your coach ever tell you to “keep your head in the game?” They weren’t wrong. When playing sports, stay aware of your surroundings and stay mindful of the eye safety dangers around you.

Remember, before taking the field, always practice sports eye safety. If you or your child experience an eye injury, seek emergency care if it is severe. Don’t forget to see your eye doctor to assess your injury and to check your vision. Call Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 to schedule your eye exam.