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How to keep your kid safe when playing sports

Sports are an important part of many kids’ healthy lifestyle. Playing sports can help your child stay fit and strong, and gain important social and life skills. Be sure that your child gets the positive benefits from sports while protecting against injury.

Protecting your child’s teeth and eyes

Many injuries to the teeth and eyes can be avoided with the help of protective head and eyewear, and mouthguards. In fact, most dental injuries in sports are preventable.

Mouthguards

Using mouthguards reduces the risk of sports-related dental injuries. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends wearing mouthguards when playing many contact and noncontact sports, including basketball, football, soccer, boxing, gymnastics, martial arts, skateboarding and more.

Mouthguards offer protection from dental injuries including “orofacial” injuries (most commonly cuts to the mouth and gums), “avulsed teeth” (knocked out teeth), “tooth fracture” (fractured tooth), “tooth sublaxation” (loose tooth), “luxation” (tooth in socket, but in the wrong position.

Protective eyewear in sports

More than 40,000 eye injuries are treated in the emergency room each year. Even noncontact sports can cause eye injuries. Often, sports with bats, racquets, or baseballs/softballs/racquetballs are the cause of eye injuries. Frequently, fast-moving bats or baseballs also cause injuries. That’s not all, however. Injuries also can be caused by contact, jabs, elbows, etc.

Sports goggles can provide significant protection against eye injury when playing sports. Most sports glasses are made of polycarbonate lenses—an extremely strong material that protects the eyes from fast-moving objects. Treated polycarbonate lenses also are scratch resistant, which can help them last much longer. And, polycarbonate lenses offer ultraviolet protection for outdoor sports.

Finding the right sports goggles for your child is important. Consult with your child’s eye doctor to learn more. 

Prescription sports goggles

If your children wear corrective lenses, getting their prescription in protective sports eyewear is important. In addition to protecting your child’s eyes from injury, this also helps ensure your child won’t wear his or her less-durable glasses while playing sports.

Bonus benefit: Many athletes don’t wear their corrective lenses while playing sports. This can decrease performance. Help your child put forth his or her best performance: get your child’s prescription in any sports goggles.

Helmets

Helmets are important in sports including football, baseball, biking, skating, skateboarding, baseball and other sports. Helmets offer protection from concussions and other injuries to the head, but can also offer protection to the teeth and eyes.

Need help identifying protective sportswear for your child’s teeth and eyes? Find a dentist or optometrist near you.