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Wear protective eyewear when playing sports

According to the Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Program, more than 60,000 eye injuries related to sports and recreation occur each year. This startling number stresses the need for student athletes to wear the appropriate protective eyewear. Not only due children need to protect their eyes from injury but protection from the sunlight is equally important. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation not only damages the surface of the eye's tissues, it can also damage the cornea and the lens. Long-term exposure to UV rays can increase the risk of developing macular degeneration in the future as wells as early cataracts. Approximately 43 percent of sports-related eye injuries occur in children younger than 15 according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Parents can lessen the risk by making sure their student athletes wear protective eyeguards which can be purchased at sports specialty stores. Many eyeguards have an anti-fog coating and vents for additional ventilation. For those who wear prescription glasses, they can be fitted for prescription eyeguards by their eyecare professional. Elise Ervin Staff Writer

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