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September is sports eye safety month.An estimated 40,000 sports-related eye injuries occur every year, predominantly with kids under the age of 18. Here’s what parents of athletes need to know so that they can all be prepared in case of an unexpected emergency.

The highest risk sports for eye injuries are racquet sports, basketball, baseball and water sports because of high-velocity projectiles. Boxing and martial arts sports are especially high risk for direct contact to the eye with a closed fist, glove or finger; soccer, basketball and other sports are immune to these kinds of injuries as well.

Polycarbonate lenses provide an impact-resistant plastic that is especially shatter-proof and protects the eyes up to ten times more effectively than other plastics, and is the best insurance against sports-related eye injuries.

If an eye injury occurs, DO NOT touch the eye or try to fix anything yourself and seek medical attention. If it is after hours, and an ophthalmology office is not open, head to the emergency room. Most corner 24-hour emergency centers are ill-equipped for eye care.

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